22 August 2017

Nigeria: Knocks, Kudos As Nigerians React to President's Broadcast

Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
(file photo).

As always, Nigerians have reacted to yesterday's address to Nigerians by President Muhammadu Buhari in different ways. While some knocked the president for the broadcast, describing it as a disappointment and buck passing, others have hailed it as a timely intervention, especially in the country's fight against terrorism and the need for national integration.

Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa, said he was disappointed over the content of the broadcast, saying it fell short of expectations.

He noted that "notwithstanding that the president took Nigerians for granted, he was not impeached, but rather Nigerians were offering prayers for his recovery, daily, only for him to return with a language of combat and insult, describing his own citizens as "irresponsible elements"!

This, he said, should not have been the appropriate language of a president that has benefited from the goodwill and magnanimity of his people, as this could not be the message of gratitude.

Adegboruwa, who thanked God that the President is back and praying that God will perfect his health, said reading through the presidential broadcast however, he was utterly disappointed.

"This is a president who virtually sneaked out of Nigeria, who breached his own self-declaration of transparency, by keeping Nigerians in the dark for over 100 days and in the process slowed down the country's progress.

"There must just be something about the All Progressives Congress (APC) government that detests truth and consistency. While the president was away, his Vice President translated our freedom of expression into hate speeches and terrorism.

"But here is the president, few days thereafter, piling up hatred and animosity upon Nigerians, who are simply demanding restructuring, true federalism and dialogue, asking the president and his party, to fulfill their campaign promises," he said.

However, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has said that President Buhari's return and his broadcast to Nigerians would boost the fight against Boko Haram terrorism in the Northeast region of the country.

He said this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Isa Umar Gusau, which was made available to journalists yesterday in Maiduguri. "I congratulate the people of the North-East on the return of our President from medical vacation in London.

"The people of the Northeast should be congratulated as the major beneficiaries of Buhari's return because of his 'open love, empathy and keen interest' in addressing the security challenges not only Borno State but the entire Northeast zone," he added.

Meanwhile, the APC has charged Nigerians to identify with President Buhari's quest for national integration.

Expressing satisfaction over the president's emphasis on the unity of the country, deputy national chairman of APC (North), Lawal Shuaibu, told journalists that the most important function of government was security.

"Any action that is capable of threatening the security of lives and property should be the primary concern of any responsible government," he said.


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