Femi Owolabi: An open letter from the ‘Shoeless Boys’ Association’- to GEJ


Dear Uncle Jonathan,

On behalf of the above named unofficial and unregistered association, I bring you greetings from Otuoke, your home.

This is not another formulation from hypocritical perceptions. Here are some piercing truths from some of us here who are seen as your wards by the virtue of simply emulating your once-upon-a-time shoelessness—a world-class tale of grass to grace.

We are not oblivious of the fact (and perhaps not true) that your government has been labelled kakistocracy, instead of the genuine democracy these gullible Nigerian minds voted for last year.

Uncle, soft words break no bones, rather, they win hard hearts. You do not have the oratory prowess like US President Obama but the content of your ‘shoeless’ story during your campaign tours melted the many hearts of a larger percentage of the electorates. Even if our own mothers who sell fish here were all wrapped in tribal sentiment of “let’s vote for our son,” it would be insane to deny this obvious truth—that lots of Nigerians trooped out in 2011 to cast what I call “sympathetic” votes for you. Except one didn’t get to hear that mellifluous tones of yours in the campaign jingles that were replayed on our screens for days (especially NTA), that your thumb won’t be honest to place a vote for Goodluck/Sambo.

Yes sir, if you don’t know, you won with 22, 495, 187 votes (to beat CPC which polled 12, 214, 853 votes). Yes! I can say that again. And for those who are still wasting their time faulting the election as being a fraud, let them go and ask what the tribunals have done to the lengthy journals the old General’s party submitted to them. Scrunched and thrown inside the wastebasket!

Nonetheless Uncle, (with a heart now soaked in acerbity) I say to you that sympathy without relief is like mustard without beef. I regret to mention that most of your supposedly good animus and policies are rather fallacious. And some of us here still try hard to find our ways through the hellish bureaucratic labyrinth tabled by your government.

I do not mean to break your already broken heart about this, but kindly ask Reno Omokri to give you a rough estimation of maledictions showered on you via twitter alone. Many have since disregarded your three hard-earned degrees and had condemned whatever you stand for to mendacity. Some say the cluelessness of your brain may be traced to your once-upon-a-time shoelesness. Or, how else would the government of the son of a former canoe-carver who knew the tribal marks given to poverty suddenly turns out to be an extortionate one? I’m afraid, what they are saying is that your brain functions somewhere around your feet?

And I need tell you that there is this tiny man from Kaduna who seems to spearhead the weapons of words fashioned against you on social media (twitter). Uncle I’d just advice, that the way you have busied his other tiny friend from Adamawa, you can as well announce his name too as the new ombudsman. He will gladly accept!

Of course, you are not ignorant of all these things, or else I would beg that you sack Omokri immediately.

Uncle, it’s unfortunate that this famous line of yours that I also like so much is becoming impossible. “…and if I can make it, you can make it too.”

Uncle, how can we make it when the budgetary allocation to education is not as robust as the 3 million naira meal you and your aides consume on daily basis? However, the recent creation of some federal schools is worthy of mentioning, especially the one you gave us here, Federal University Otuoke. But is it enough to build a university? What about ensuring it’s been run smoothly?

How can we make it when the conditions of our roads go from bad to worse?

How can we make it when most of our manufacturers are running to Ghana because of the little or no power supply for production here?

What you’ve done has placed a rather permanent mark of incompetence on some of us—especially in future when we say we are from the South-South. What significant thing have you done? And when I say significant, it is that the Obasanjo administration=GSM. Yar’adua= Niger Delta Amnesty or say Rule of Law. How I wish GEJ would = Electricity. Just this alone, we are done!

You are a son of destiny, make anybody fight that one. Your name Jonathan from the Hebrew means “Gift from the Lord.” And tracing that name to a bible passage where it was picked, I saw this…” David asked, is there anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom I can show KINDNESS for JONATHAN’s sake?” (Further reading; II Samuel 9vs 1).

Therefore if nobody go name him pikin Judas cos of that atrocity wey hin commit, then Uncle, abeg try do watin go give our future a deserved kindness—for your sake!


fEMIoWOLABI, an adopted son of Otuoke for the Shoe-less Boys’ Association.

Twitter @fEMIoWOLABI


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


Leave a reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.

Comments (2)

  1. Good piece…it myt jst melt his heart wen he reads it, but that is if he ever reads it!

  2. This is a very good piece. Will he read it?

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail