Monday, 26 June 2017
President Buhari’s audio message is a spectacular own goal.
To dispel speculations and rumours surrounding the state of his health - especially since there's been no word from him since May 7, 2017 - the president's handlers took a voice recorder bedside, asked the nation's number one citizen to mutter his Sallah felicitations to Nigerians back home and had the audio shared to media outfits across the land,They shouldn't have bothered.
Because the man who laboured to convey his Sallah message to Nigerians in that audio, sounded painfully ill and dejected.
It wasn't a voice to lift the spirits of the Muslim faithful who have just broken their fast. It wasn't a voice to lift a nation in the throes of an economic recession, either.
That audio was an affirmation that the Nigerian leader is indeed suffering from a speech impairment which has arisen as a side effect of some deeper, undisclosed ailment.
That audio was an affirmation that we haven't learnt anything since the Yar'adua stunt of 2010.
And why would a president who hasn't been heard from in such a long time, choose to break his silence to his people in Hausa, a language spoken by just a section of the country?
Given that Muslims dot every geopolitical region in Nigeria, how will the Yoruba Muslim faithful or their middle belt counterparts for instance, decipher their president's goodwill message?
Why look for an interpreter to make out what your president was passing across when the man could have easily spoken in English - the nation's lingua franca?
That whole Sallah audio in Hausa played right into the hands of those who regard this president as clannish and incurably ethno-centric.
In the final analysis, the solution doesn't lie in making Nigerians listen to a president who is battling a debilitating ailment.
The solution is in making the cabal hands off while the nation seeks a political solution - one that will invariably lead to this president stepping aside until he recovers.
Because this whole ailment thing has become a huge, needless distraction for this nation. A distraction we can ill afford at this time .
We shouldn't be bothering Buhari with the affairs of state at this point because he clearly can't handle any.
An audio message that was designed to calm frayed nerves has ended up raising a plethora of questions and concerns because the president's handlers are such poor students of history and power
Long Live LUB.
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