The dust raised by President Muhammadu Buhari’s first speech after 49 days of being away is yet to settle. President Buhari in an audio Eid-El-Fitr message which has gone viral addressed the nation in Hausa.
In the one minute, two seconds audio aired by BBC, Buhari whose voice was frail, spoke in Hausa throughout the recording, urging Nigerians to remain united and shun all forms of divisiveness.
President Buhari also extended his greetings to all Muslims on the Eid-El-Fitr celebration and urged them to keep the faith while thanking them for their prayers.
The transcribed version of the message reads:
“In the name of Allah the beneficent, the merciful. I Muhammadu Buhari would like to use this opportunity to felicitate with Nigerians on the occasion of Sallah celebrations.
“I pray that Allah will accept our acts of worship during Ramadan and make it easy for us to imbibe and put to use the lessons learned during the period. I thank you very much for including me in your prayers during the month, may Allah give us the wherewithal to fulfill the promises we made and I pray that he intervenes in solving the problems afflicting our nation.
“Finally, I will like to reiterate my call on all Nigerians to avoid comments capable of causing trouble. What we are praying to God for at all times is peaceful coexistence, we pray to Allah for a bumper harvest so we can feed with ease.
“May Allah bless us with peace and peaceful co-existence. I pray you have a peaceful Sallah celebration, I thank you.”
This irked many Nigerians who took to social media to express reservations.
Former presidential media aide, Reno Omokri, says this is unacceptable, adding that a National leader cannot address his people in a sectional language.
“In a country whose official language is English, President Muhammadu Buhari broadcasts his Sallah message in Hausa! Would Trump (whose origin is German) address America in German? So what about all those Nigerians who can’t speak Hausa?
“Ideally, the President should have spoken in English first, then if he feels like it, he may also speak in Hausa,” because “the way he has now spoken only in Hausa makes it seem as if he is only concerned with those who gave him 97% of the votes while those who have him 5% can take a hike!”
“How would the rest of the country have felt if President Olusegun Obasanjo had released a Christmas broadcast to Nigerians in Yoruba or if President Goodluck Jonathan had done so in Ogbia? How can a NATIONAL leader address Nigerians in a SECTIONAL language?
“Nigeria has never had a leader as divisive as Buhari! There is no difference between President Buhari and Nnamdi Kanu. President Buhari is the President of all Nigeria. He is not the President of only those who can speak Hausa! This is an outrage!
“President Yar’adua also spoke to the BBC News by phone. He is Fulani, like President Buhari. Yet he spoke in English because he was President of all of us!”
Below are other reactions from Twitter users
Did Buhari expect Yoruba Muslims, Igala Muslims, all non Hausa-speaking Muslims to learn Hausa if they want to understand his Eid message?
— Nedu Ekeke #BBOG (@Nedunaija) June 25, 2017
And then Pre Buhari Sent Eid🕋Greetings to Nigerians In Hausa Language… So All Muslims understand Hausa Now? 😎 😷😷pic.twitter.com/UcjU76I7Cl
— Osas Cruz (@OsasCruz) June 25, 2017
How can you speak to your country in Hausa and expect People not to seek for a referendum?
Anyway we deserve what we Sow.
— Niger Delta (@Franeb) June 25, 2017
Listening to Buhari's message in Hausa, and wondering if there was no adviser to tell him he's president of Nigeria not Governor of Kano. pic.twitter.com/4264G4iKIz
— Umeh and 99 others (@UmehOMA) June 25, 2017
Imagine how I would have felt if Obasanjo addressed the nation in Yoruba or GEJ in Ijaw. Whoever told Buhari to speak in Hausa is shallow
— H.A.Hayatu (@HAHayatu) June 25, 2017
It's barbaric that Buhari's handlers can't deduce the dangers of his Hausa message to the nation when there is such ethnic tension. Nepotism pic.twitter.com/nLzfRZXjdm
— Adéyẹmí 'Bọ̀wálé🇳🇬 (@adeyemibowale) June 25, 2017
Let's accept that Buhari sent a voice message(sounds ridiculous yeah?),so he did it in Hausa language? Buhari is a threat to National Unity
— . (@Tomyboiz) June 25, 2017
Buhari's First message to Nigerians in over 40 days is in Hausa Language, and No Video of Him Speaking the Hausa to Nigerians. pic.twitter.com/Vb2pWQYS1L
— AJALA (@UNCLE_AJALA) June 25, 2017
Listen to Mr. President’s Speech Below