22 August 2017

Nigeria: PDP Criticises Buhari's #PresidentialBroadcast

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said President Muhammadu Buhari on his return missed a golden opportunity to reconnect with the people by not addressing issues that directly affect them.

This was made known in a statement on Monday signed by the party's head of publicity, Chinwe Nnorom.

The president who returned on Saturday addressed Nigerians on Monday on some national issues but has been flayed by some for avoiding comments on other controversial issues such as the recent agitations for restructuring and the ailing health sector.

The PDP said "many expectations were not met by the president in his speech because more pressing issues were not discussed."

"The Presidency issued a statement on Friday intimating the people of the imminent return of President Buhari to the country after his three month plus of medical vacation in London with the added bonus of a presidential address on Monday. Not a few Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief, thanking God for delivering our President and expectantly looked forward to a robust speech that would further imbue the confidence of the people.

"However, rather than rekindle that hope and confidence, that speech delivered earlier this morning can most charitably be described as a monumental anticlimax."

"Indeed, the President's speech did not contain anything new; just a rehash of statements that already had been made by both government and various leaders of thought across the country. The PDP had cause to commend the then Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo for going round the country to engage with relevant stakeholders, which certainly was a better approach."

The party challenged the president to embark on a new level of thinking in addressing national issues rather than avoiding direct confrontation of issues.

"The party believes that instead of always mouthing the indivisibility of this country, the Government should be seen walking the talk by instilling confidence in all the people across board that it belongs to all.

"The casual mention of 'elements of Boko Haram'... kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes' etc, were also somewhat on the perfunctory side and do not imbue confidence."

It also tackled the president's unwillingness to comment on the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

"Has the future of the future leaders of our country sunk so low in the estimation of our current leaders that the issue was considered not important enough to command a mention in the President's address?" the PDP asked.


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