Dear Uncle Gbenga Aruleba,

For the umpteenth time, I feel coerced into picking my pen to address an issue that under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have bothered myself with. Since the Coronavirus-ravaged era that we find ourselves in is a far cry from the normal, it is imperative for me, as part of the few right-thinking individuals of this era, to address what many are calling your folly. My passion has no room for niceties; they are therefore saved for future times. To the crux of my letter I shall sail.

In the aftermath of the small matter of Naira Marley’s flight from Lagos to Abuja and back, from the depth of oblivion you appeared on our airwaves to attack a gentleman who doubles as a president and a role model to many progressive and patriotic Nigerians. That was not just it. You went on to make the absurd insinuation that there may be elements of the Marlian World Oder (MWO) movement in the esteemed Buhari government.

Just so you know, I am not the type that calls a spade a blade or something that it is not. Therefore, I make bold to say that your annoying remark is a ploy for you to drive yourself to prominence like Aunty Linda and Bobrisky. Also, we know 2023 is not far away and there are rumours in a section of the Nigerian media that some of your kinsmen are prepping you up for a cash-out at the Villa. Based on this knowledge, I am not entirely surprised by this silly insinuation of yours.

Do you know what it means to be a Marlian? Did you bother to Google what the global Marlian movement is all about? I shake my big head for your version of armchair journalism. In words that are as brief as the reign of a tyrant, I shall hasten to educate you on some of the the tenets of the Marlian movement, then go on to seek a parallel with what obtains in Nigeria.

To be a Marlian is to have a thousand trousers with zero belts, to sing and gallivant all over a stage, naked to the waist. To be a Marlian is to breed dreadlocks on one’s sacred head – a part of the body that is revered by the Gbagyi people to the extent that no load is permitted to settle on it. To be a Marlian is to slay virtues and salute vices. To be a Marlian is to have due regards for the people and the law. There is more to being a Marlian than time and space can allow me to elaborate on. 

Uncle Gbenga, how many officers in Buhari’s administration have you seen wearing trousers without having a belt strapped around their waists? Maybe those who prefer to wear our traditional agbadas, babanriga and jalabiyas that don’t require belts. It is preposterous to term them Marlians. For Gosh’s sake, we are talking of officers who embark on a looting spree to enable them purchase the choicest items on offer in Paris, Rome and New York – items they have need of and those they may never use, expensive belts inclusive. That aside, have you considered that their young chicks – those ones young enough to be their daughters – would think of them as irresponsible, stingy and demented for not putting on a belt? That is that.

No official closely associated with the incumbent government has been associated with singing and dancing. The senator from the Confluence State that tried, endured several plots to arrest and jail him before he was finally sent packing from the hallowed floor of our upper house. The said senator has since stopped pulling off Marlian stunts. He now makes a living as a world-acclaimed conspiracy theorist. The travails of the senator started on a mere suspicion of him being a Marlian sympathizer. The government couldn’t wait for our snail-paced court to adjudicate on his guilt or innocence. What does that tell you? The incumbent regime cannot condone the mere display of any Marlian trait.

Marlians are known for their relentless battering of the frontiers of virtues. This is not so with the officials in Buhari’s government. Buhari is an embodiment of virtues. You would recall that it was by virtue of his virtues that Nigerians brought him to power despite the machination of the corrupt government of that time to disenfranchise him for his inability to produce what looks like a WAEC certificate. It was the same Buhari who served gallantly in the army, served as minister of petroleum, ruled as Head of State and later occupied the chair of the Petroleum Trust Fund without taking a dime from the coffers of the Nigerian government. It is unthinkable to think that such a man would surround himself with people of questionable virtues like the Bullionvan man, the “corrosive” ex-governor from a river close to the Cross-River, and their kinds.

Mannerless Marlians, is that not how they refer to themselves? The present government officials loot our coffers with manners. They don’t go about flaunting their loots like their predecessors. What more can one demand for from a Nigerian government official? So well-mannered is this government that it cannot allow criticism to continue without persecuting the critic. I do not know of any responsible father who would sit and watch his child baptize with scorn and rain insults on people old enough to birth him, under the guise of constructive criticism.

I know you know the good manner in which this government obeys court orders – of course, it is beyond reproach! I won’t bore you with the exceptional manner in which it manages the issues of threat to the sanctity of the Nigerian life. The government has recorded so many victories on papers. According to the reliable utterances of politicians, residents of the president’s Katsina, my southern Kaduna, and Gubio can now sleep with their eyes closed. Like it was asked about Jesus, the masses in Nigeria have been asking: What manner of man and presidency is Buhari’s? Do you still feel the government is Marlian? Well, I just disproved that notion by pointing out that, unlike the Marlians, Buhari’s government is well-mannered and has well-mannered officials from the top to the bottom and right, left, and centre.

Dear Uncle Gbenga, I can go on and on but you know it is not beneficial to occupy our days with an unending letter. It is important that I conserve words for the day when providence shall bring us together to have what the French call a head-to-head. Before I drop my pen, I need to emphasize that to be a Marlian is to do all the wrong things that exist in the world. Buhari’s government is renowned at home and abroad for doing all the things that are right, holy, and laudable. The enviable feat of this government is unprecedented in Nigeria’s over 105 years of existence. I wonder the kind of weed that is making you insinuate the presence of Marlians in Buhari’s government or to think that Marlians ti take over – in other words we are living in a Marlian Republic. If you must continue weeding, then change your supplier sir. He is harming you.

Be guided, uncle!     

With utmost concern,

Nephew Gwanzwang.

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