The recent interview granted to Arise TV by President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to attract mixed reactions across the country. There is no doubt the interview has come at a time when the country is experiencing myriad challenges of nation-building and Mr. President seems to shy away from his responsibilities or refuse to talk to Nigerians on what his government is doing to calm frayed nerves. However, if there is anything the interview has addressed it is the speculation that Buhari has been hijacked by a cabal or is dementia-plagued or not entirely in charge of his government.
In the last six years of his administration, President Buhari had proved to be friendlier to the foreign media than our local media. Many Nigerians got to know his government plans or programs when he jets out from the country and they tune to foreign stations or glued to their foreign television channels. This attitude has fueled distrust between Nigerians and Mr. President. It is also on record that President Buhari usually reaches out to Nigerians in period of national emergency through proxies or third parties. The presidential media aides and Minister of Information have assumed the roles of president, releasing statements which should have been spoken by Mr. President.
The Arise TV media chat and June 12 Democracy Day›s address are living testimony that Buhari has finally re-invented himself. In these trying times when the country is in flames, Nigerians do not want a president who will stay at the villa and only being heard through proxies. The people of the North-West who are at the mercy of rapacious bandits are eagerly waiting to hear from Mr. President what his government is doing to stop the madness of bandits who are on rampage terrorising and displacing many farming communities. The same with South-West and South-East regions where non-state actors like Sunday Igboho and Nmandi Kanu emerged threatening fire and brimstone to the cooperate existence of the country. Although, Mr. President has stated that the separatists will be treated according to the language they understand, these regions which threatened to seced from the country need more talk from him.
At least, it is cheering news that President Muhammadu Buhari has broken silence and proven to Nigerians he is not longer weak. In his remaining two years, Nigerians want him to talk to them more on his efforts to address lingering insecurity and revamping our ailing economy.
Ibrahim Pambegua, Kaduna State.
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