By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described Monday’s Presidential broadcast by Muhammadu Buhari as a missed opportunity on the part of the President to connect with the people of Nigeria.
In a statement issued by the Head, Publicity Division of the party, Chinwe Nnorom, the party said Nigerians looked forward to a speech that would arouse their faith in government only for same to turn out a “monumental anticlimax.
“When last Friday the presidency issued a statement 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 in the capacity of the government to continue to take on the huge challenges of governance.
“However, rather than rekindle that hope and confidence, that speech delivered earlier this morning (yesterday) can most charitably be described as a monumental anticlimax.
“The President and his handlers missed a golden opportunity to reconnect with the people through addressing issues that have direct bearing to their well-being and those of their children and dependents.
“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, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for going round the country to engage with relevant stakeholders, which certainly was a better approach,” the statement reads in part.
The party also noted that “rather than rehashing the worn-out clichés about Nigeria’s unity not being negotiable, Nigerians would have loved to hear their President come out definitively to tell them what realistic measures his government intended to take to uproot the causes of the perennial agitations and counter agitations that are now becoming a recurring decimal in our national discourse. 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.
“President Buhari returned to the country in a week that saw the closure of all our public universities as a result of the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Yet, not even a whimper from our President. 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?
“To this end, the PDP once again welcomes the President back home and continues to pray for his total recovery as well as God’s guidance. But we believe Nigerians deserve a richer statement from a President that was away from them for more than a hundred days during which a lot happened that should have elicited more than a mention in that speech,” the party added.