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One million men marching

Dearest Buhari,

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I love walking. Only that I am unsure as to its impact on my weight. And as a slim person, I am sure you do not want me gaining weight unduly. I blame it on all the late night eating. You know how I have to work at night and all. It is tough to go through the night hungry. But walking, I keep asking myself, how much fat does it burn to justify all that time on the road? I guess the enjoyment of it is value enough. 

I saw that some of your supporters want to organise a one million man march following in the footsteps of your former boss and mentor, Sani Abacha. Do you miss him? I hope this one million man march will not trigger emotions in you which you cannot handle. Anyway, I think it is a good idea. I also like the fact that it is one million and not like 2 or 5 million. Sometimes it is good not to push one’s luck too far. 

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I am also glad that the organisers of this are not distracted by things like our Air Force killing civilians in villages by dropping bombs on them or the state of the economy or the incessant crisis between farmers and settled communities and transhumant pastoralists. I like focus. I was going to complain at first but when I saw their resolve I was like, yeah, I can handle other people singing praises to my darling. Just remember that I love you more than they do.  

My only problem is the use of the word “man”. It makes it harder to achieve the one million number. Not that anyone will be counting when thousands of persons storm Abuja to demand that you run for office in 2019, but I just want to make sure that we get it right. 

My suggestion is that you rename it the one million march. At first I thought one million person march might open it up to women and children but then I really think that if for example, some pastoralists want to march along with their cows, we should have the decency to count their cows as part of the march. Because it is hard to force a cow to do anything and their willingness to march for you should not be taken for granted. Also think of the people who will stroll out with their fancy foreign dogs. I hear that in the police force, dogs in the canine unit have ranks and are treated as part of the force. So we should be able to count the dogs which will accompany their handlers to urge you to save Nigeria by ruling us until 2023. 

Also, these days that we have a lot of people who are neither male nor female it is important to include all of these individuals in the march. And we cannot name it one million individuals march. First, for the animals I mentioned above and even if you call the animals individuals, it is such a messy name. The One Million March is short, punchy and discriminates against no one. 

We need to do this march for many reasons. First, it will help hungry Nigerians who do not have employment. We all know that when you are busy you can sometimes even forget that you are hungry. Also, the colours of the million will make those who are mourning — from having relatives who have been kidnapped, relatives who have been shot dead by robbers, relatives who have been slaughtered in herder-farmer clashes — forget their sorrows and celebrate your right to rule Nigeria until it becomes almost physically impossible. We also need a march for health reasons. I mean we may not all lose weight, but it will help with blood flow. A walking man cannot be an angry man. It is my hope that there will be singing and dancing at this march. I can’t wait. I am already thinking of which comfortable footwear to use for this amazing occasion. 

Pps. My weekly reminder: Please think of the Shiite man who is still in prison, whose children and followers we massacred and buried in Kaduna. Do not let him die in your custody. It is never too late to do the right thing. Especially now as we enter 2018. Release him, his wife and his people. Especially as we flag off this 2019 campaign season. We can even use it to score political points. I know you want to. Hugs. 

Yours until 2023 and forever

Elnathan John.   

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