By Dirisu Yakubu & Vanessa Paul
ABUJA- Following the nationwide broadcast on Monday by President Muhammadu Buhari, scores of Nigerians have barred their minds on the speech, with many describing same as disappointing.
In his reaction, former Minister of Aviation and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Femi Fani-Kayode described the broadcast as uninspiring, noting that the Commander-in-Chief ought to apologize to Nigerians over the incompetence of his administration since its inauguration in over two years ago.
“During his thoroughly uninspiring six minute broadcast this morning (yesterday), instead of appealing to Nigerians for patience and understanding and instead of apologizing to them for the ineptitude and sheer incompetence that his government has displayed over the last 2 years, President Muhammadu Buhari has returned home after 105 days on his sick bed in the United Kingdom and not only insulted Nigerians but also threatened them.
“He made no attempt to reach out to the people, to build bridges and to calm the troubled waters in what is clearly a traumatized and divided nation and instead he sought to intimidate and talk down on our people and his perceived enemies,” he wrote on his blog.
Not done, the former Minister expressed dismay over the inability of the first citizen to realize that times have indeed changed and that imposition of one’s will on others is no longer tenable. He further said that in order to enhance national unity; there must be a clear understanding and closer relationship between him (Buhari) and Nigerians.
“The President appears to have failed to appreciate the fact that times have changed and that he cannot impose his will on others. If he wants to enhance national unity, which is of course a noble and righteous venture, and if he really wants Nigeria to remain one, then he must desist from his dangerous and provocative rhetoric; he must treat all Nigerians like human beings and as equals; he must exhibit a much higher degree of sobriety and accommodation of contrary and dissenting views and he must display far more sensitivity, understanding and restraint in his interactions and discourse with the opposition and those that do not agree with him.
“Failing that and without a quick recourse to the devolution of power from the centre and the neat and timely restructuring of what is essentially a fake pseudo-federation and a functional unitary state, the agitation for emancipation will become more pronounced, the various ethnic nationalities in this country will eventually exercise their right of self-determination and our nation will eventually break,” he wrote, adding that “what the President is unable to grasp and fails to comprehend is this: we are not children, we are not animals and we refuse to be second class citizens.”
Fani-Kayode also decried the President’s refusal to order the arrest of those who issued quit notice to a section of the country.
“Worse of all, other than saying that every Nigerian has the right to live in any part of the country, which in itself is undoubtedly a welcome and gratifying assertion, he refused to order the arrest or threaten to cage and bring to justice those that gave the Igbo people a chilling quit notice and that have promised to unleash genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass murder on them if they refused to abide by it and leave the north by October 1st.
“This strange omission and instructive refusal by Mr. President is unacceptable and it feeds into the narrative that there may well be some kind of frightful hidden agenda unfolding.
“It was also a missed opportunity to allay the legitimate fears and genuine concerns of many Igbo and southerners that live in the north,” he added.