It is no longer news that the President is back. Indeed the Lion is back to his home soil sending all the hyenas and jackals into hiding. This comes after spending 66% of the year abroad. We will look at the salient point raised by Mr President and the impact of words not said.
Mr President can only be too pleased he was able to afford and access foreign medical care viz a viz his ‘brothers’ who die daily in local hospitals due to lack of basic health amenities. For a President who rode on the wings of banning medical tourism especially for public office holders, it is appalling that he has spent a greater part of this year attending to his failing health in a foreign hospital. There has been no improvement in the health sector for as long as I can remember. The 2016 budget allocated N3.6bn to the state house clinic, yet our dear leader earlier travelled for 50days to treat an ear infection. Even the ever-striking doctors are weary of their incessant industrial action which has become a meaningless bulldog bark.
The thing about the placement of this statement is that it shows what is important to Mr President. For someone who abandoned his duty post for 103 days to be first perturbed about negative comments on social media leaves a lot to be desired. He should be concerned I agree but the concern should be that he is failing Nigerians and indeed all those who voted him in 2015.
I guess we should start by questioning what our red lines are. What does the phrase ‘collective existence as a nation’ mean? The President and his bunch of speech writers must know that we are no longer in military era where bogus words which have no meaning are used in speeches. Every line and every word must resonate with us, the electorate.
What I consider a step too far is the recommendation by the National Council on Information (NCI) to set up a council to regulate the use of social media in Nigeria. The President must recognise that he won the election largely because of social media.
I cannot fathom why on earth Mr President had to mention Ojukwu’s name in a national speech that has nothing to do with Biafra. It is often said that what is not said is often as important what is said. Linking point 2 and 3 together, it can read thus; I have been hearing of the IPOB agitation on social media and it threatens our national unity but then even your erstwhile leader chose Nigeria over your struggle. (Paraphrased by me).
While it might be true that Ojukwu visited Daura, I wonder why it appears on a welcome back speech. Why it is so important for Mr President to inform a country of over 250 ethnic groups that an Igbo man spent two days in his place- for this is what it is, a sub (an ethnic sub).
The President Buhari continues to play the 5% pawn game with this statement. In a diverse nation such as Nigeria, it is imperative that National leaders are seen as not having ethnic bias but not so with Mr President. Earlier in his speech, he lauded Chief Ojukwu for his nationalist views and in the same speech, he disses him for seeking asylum in Ivory Coast after the civil war. The President like his many media aids has indeed become a king in this shade throwing business. In saying that every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere without hindrance, Mr Buhari has neither condemned the threat by the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum nor has he assured the Igbo’s living in the North of security come October 1st.
If above statement is indeed true, why did the Police throw tear-gas at the Resume or Resign campaign party? Why are we fighting social media? Why was the confab report thrown out of the window? If we must be a federation, we must indeed adopt the tenets of true federalism.
The speech ended without addressing any fundamental issue. How do we come together to 'eschew petty differences'; more bogus words peharps? Mr President, the 97% who voted you in did that so you could face the challenge of economic security.
Emphatically, I beg to understand, what is the challenge of political evolution? Is political evolution and integration now a problem?
It is sad that this speech failed to give us pointer as to the direction the nation is heading with nothing critical being addressed except the deep hatred for social media. Is he not aware of ASUU strike? Are we out of recession yet?
I chose to neglect the fact that the President addressed us as "My dear citizens" and not "my fellow citizens". By so doing, he has elevated himself to height where we can only relate as Subject and Ruler. Not so Mr President, this is not George Orwell's animal farm.
A seasoned writer like Mr Femi and his team needs to know what they are up against. We are no longer in the age and time when Nigerians swallow whatever we are served. Accountability and right leadership must be demanded from our leaders.