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EXCLUSIVE LETTER TO GOVERNOR WIKE

BY ESEMA AGUSE

Dear Governor Wike,

To the greater good of Rivers State, it’s become a duty for me to betray Dakuku Peterside – Rivers young ones mustn’t all die when a revealing of one of his secrets may halt the killings.
Your rival in the last election, Dakuku, has fled and abandoned us his followers, it seems, doesn’t it? But we must bring him home to answer to a number of tragedies, particularly three, that are at the root of the failure that is Rivers State under your watch.

I know where he may be because I’ve been in those Hideouts with him. We begin the search from the bustling noise of New Delhi in India. Next to a forest in Eleme. And finally, we will head to a virgin residence at Rainbow Town in Trans Amadi.

But first let me upload for your pleasure a picture of disaster, dream and direction. You’ll connect the dots, any literate will, I’m confident.

It’s in the middle of mankind’s deadliest conflict – World War II. Hitler’s Lufftwaffe was strafing Britain silly. The greatest empire the world has known, the British Empire, was tearing at its seams. Its merchant-faced leader, Winston Churchill, had nothing more to trade.

A new world order beckoned. Thoughts must be of the future. On his return from a secretive visit to Los Alamos, where British and American scientists were developing the ultimate weapon, the atom bomb, he stopped over at Harvard.

‘[Hear me, people of the world!]The empires of the future,’ he prophesied, ‘will be empires of the mind.’

Up until then the world has been globalized by single nations and their armies, and then from about 1800, with the coming of Shell, Mobil, Chevron, by multinationals. Thomas L. Friedman in ‘The World Is Flat,’ classed those as Globalization 1.0 and Globalization 2.0.

Globalization 3.0 is now, when nations and multinations no longer drive human connectivity, when the power is open and opportunity could be any individual's to cease.

What does all these have to do with Dakuku, our need to look for him and my desire to assist you to stop the killing in our dear state? I’ll tell you.

Sometime ago, on behalf of Greater Together, the Dakuku governorship campaign organization, I requested information from Yale University for our planned Dakuku Peterside’s Harvard/Yale Rivers State Education (HY-RiSE) Program. A phone interview was arranged by Yale. When the call came, the number began with +91 (the code for India, not +1 for the US) and the lady at the other end assured me she was calling on behalf of Yale. I gave the excuse of static (I can’t hear you clearly), cut the call and escalated my enquiries to the very office of the President of the University. Two days later, the written response came. Yes, that call from India was from the school. Yale School of Management outsourced its admission pre-qualification interview to an Indian consultancy! Yale is America’s premier university and is home to its elite political secretive society, Skull & Bones.

Those struck me, as they would anybody, as everything power. Why would such power concede to India, when Power, my schooling taught me, concedes nothing without demand?  What power could India – a country of rigsaw, slums and excruciating deprivations – have over America?

A new kind of Power, Your Excellency – one that can lift from poverty thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions within one financial year, one that Churchill, that sombre day at Harvard, after seeing further ahead of the limits of national armies and atom bomb as drivers of the future, had prophesied.

The new empires are no longer nations like Britain and US or multinationals like Shell and Exon but software. Yes, you read me right. Software, app, IT.

Google, Facebook, Infosys, Amazon, Ali Baba are as possible from the garage of a Zuckerberg as they are from the most ghoulish ghetto of New Delhi and no less probable from the mind wandering along Aba Road.

So how does all this tie up to the search for Dakuku?

Welcome. sir. We’ll now connect the dots.

Your Excellency, I believe you haven’t forgotten my reference of a forest at Eleme? It is actually the underutilised facility of Rivers State University of Science and Technology mini Campus of Agriculture close to O and O Tank Farms. Within his first 100 days in the office, Dakuku would have readied the facility for commencement of the PABOD Hub One (Nigeria’s first public-driven, government-funded Silicon Valley) as the pilot for several public IT clusters across the state. PABOD, as you know, is an acronym for Port Harcourt, Ahoada, Bonny, Ogoni and Degema, the old catchments of Rivers State.

Do you remember the virgin residence in Rainbow, the second of the Hideouts? One of the high-rise blocks of apartment at Rainbow Town, adjacent to Union Bank Regional Headquarters, was scheduled for residence for the software instructors where, within 20-minutes’ drive via Odili Road and across Golf Estate Bridge on a good day, they would be in classes at Eleme.

Should I go on, Sir? We were already composing the Nigerian Diaspora with background in ICT, electronics and practical physics and who plan to accept our joint-planned Return-Home-to-Port Harcourt Project, as instructors.

Dear Governor, this might be difficult for you to accept, but Dakuku had planned the school for free. All the budding software entrepreneurs at Ogbunabali, MTN village near Oil Mill, and several young ones would have been vacuumed to the classes.

We in Rivers State would be creating  a generation of software greats. Within three years, the short-term target, we in Rivers would have produced millionaires with apps to their names.

We can still – that’s why this open letter.

How about an app downloadable to your phone that picks signals within a safe radius of IED under the hijab of a would-be suicide-bomber? How about an app that GPSes dispensing ATMs within your home zone to allow you avoid try-here-try-there? How about an app which guides you to the fuel station that dispenses across the country at the official price?

Apps, the opportunity is cosmic!

We may be wary about this but its possible to develop a security-franchise app which enables people from their devices, phone, tablets, pads, laptops, vote from the comfort of their homes in future elections -- app that captures and recognizes fingerprints, identifies face and voice, link all those to the configurations and nomenclatures of a voter’s card, and then activates the virtual ballot paper. No polling units. No thugs. No wastage of fund on logistics or on security personnel and electoral umpires. Just a little federal law to get us on the part of the smart world.

This vision seems impossible only to those who haven’t spent time enough with the younger generation to see and their obvious promise with electronics devices.

I’m rounding off. But very quickly, has anybody in your government heard about RIVCloud, a state-controlled virtual safe for records for hospitals and schools? That is also an integral to this dream.

Your Excellency, the three tragedies our bringing Dakuku to answer to are: direction, which your government is lacking in, youth empowerment which your government is yet to develop an initiative, and education where all your interests appear a fixation on increased tuition.

Your Excellency, when we insist vehemently that filling-of-pot-hole and flagging of borehole projects only development as being announced daily on the radio in Rivers State is flat and disingenuous examples of development, it’s just simply because, we knew what we were saying.

Your Excellency, isn’t it easy to latch on this policy from here and fly? I wish.

Yours pained Riversman,
A member of House of Dakuku's

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