Many Nigerians have reacted to the President’s speech wherein he addressed the nation after spending 104 days in London for an undisclosed ailment.
While some think that President Buhari’s live broadcast to Nigerians fell short of expectations, others have endorsed the brief address saying it is as deep as necessary.
Given the length of his absence which elicited protests both in Nigeria and the UK, many argue that the broadcast was a unique opportunity for the President to meaningfully address pressing national questions such as the controversies surrounding the management of his health; the nature of the ailment he suffered and the cost of the treatment, the calls for restructuring and the rising tensions in the country over fractious ethnic relations, a resurgent Boko Haram and general security issues, as well as the recent ASUU strike.
One of those who have criticized the President over his speech is the Convener of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group and former education minister, Oby Ezekwesili. Speaking through her twitter handle @obyezeks, Ezekwesili said:
“I can give an instant citizen’s feedback to President @MBuhari that his Speech this morning was a terrible case of MISSED OPPORTUNITY.”
The suspended House of Representatives member, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has also reacted to the broadcast. On his Twitter page, the lawmaker wrote:
“Fair for everyone to have ideas and expectations but I did not expect PMB to read a speech this morning like he is announcing a coup d’etat.”
On the other hand, Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district has said that the President’s speech was a ‘Lion’s roar’ which has shown that he is manifestly a nationalist.
In a Facebook post, Senator Sani opined that the President’s speech would send serious warning down the spines of promoters of disunity and terrorists. In his words:
“Mr. President spoke the mind of Nigerians who cherish our unity, peace and collective progress. He spoke as a Nationalist and he spoke my mind a hundred percent.
“He sent a clear message to terrorists, ethnic irredentists, secessionists, and champions of sectionalism that this union is an indissoluble matrimony in all circumstances.
“The President’s speech was a Lion’s roar meant to reaffirm and reinforce the unity of a nation showing signs of disintegration during his absence.
“The President’s speech was a Lion’s roar re-establishing full control of a staggering clime heading to an engineered implosion during his absence.
“The President’s speech was a Lion’s roar meant to wake up a slumbering nation dangerously forgetting the lessons of its history and the calling of its future.
“The President’s speech was a Lion’s roar meant to extinguish the Soviet/Yugoslavia inferno stoking in our country.
“During the President’s absence, our hard-earned trophy of peace and plaque of unity were gathering dust and gradually been eaten by ants and bugs, the Lion roar to clear them.
“Our dreams and vision for a better country can be achieved without the need to subscribe to disorder or surrender to it.
“The roaring Lion may have disappointed “Biafranistas” and “Restructunistas” and “Evictionistas” but it’s pleasing to “Nationalistas”.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Eseme Eyiboh has also corroborated the same school of thought stating that President Muhammadu Buhari’s national broadcast reaffirms the Federal Government’s commitment to a“united and indivisible Nigeria”.
In an interview shortly after Buhari’s national broadcast, Eyiboh stated that the President left no-one in doubt that he is in charge of the affairs of the country, adding that in as much as the speech is sharp, it is as deep as necessary.
Stressing that the President’s speech was also a wake-up call to all Nigerians to understand the negative implications of hate speeches Eyiboh said:
“It demonstrates Mr President’s commitment to ensuring that the country remains united at all times.
“This is a democracy and whatever the agitations are, there are obvious processes of engagement towards addressing the problems.The National Assembly is there and we all have legislators.
”So we should come together and make our concerns known through these representatives rather than engaging in the process some people are resorting to – like hate speeches – as if we are in a state of anarchy; that is very unfair to our country.
“Like the President rightly pointed out, the National Assembly and the National Council of States are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.
“If these elements start trouble they will indeed run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order. So there is the need for us to stem the tide of hate speech in the country.
“Every political party is existing on the basis of our Constitution. So it will not do this country any good for any party to indulge in hate speech in order to secure votes from the electorate. So I have endorsed Mr. President’s speech.”