After Nigerians repeatedly requested that President Muhammadu Buhari address them directly, the President finally granted an exclusive interview with Arise News.
The interview, which aired on Thursday June 10th, was the first the President granted since his re-election in 2019.
This analysis examines the significance of the interview and President Buhari’s responses to some key questions from the interviewer.
A recent one The Cable reports that President Buhari has spent 183 days seeking medical assistance in the United Kingdom to date.
However, President Buhari’s decisive responses during the interview show, albeit with some inconsistencies, that he was responsible for Nigeria and is very aware of what is going on in his government and the whole country.
Sodiq Alabi, a social commentator, says the following about the President’s interview:
“This is the most coherent I have seen the General (President Buhari). Ignore the parts of the interview that you see on social media and watch the whole thing for yourself. The general is responsible and should be blamed or praised for anything the FG does. Don’t buy the narrative of the controlling cabal. ”
Bandits are treated in the language they understand
Asked a question how he used the Nation’s Security Avoids Challenges President Buhari noted that he had made improvements in the northeast and south-south, but admitted that he is almost overwhelmed by the crisis in the northwest.
He promised that positive changes would soon show up and noted that he had instructed the military and police to be ruthless with the bandits.
“Problem in the Northwest; You have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages. As I said, we will treat them in the language they understand. “
About a week ago the statement” treat them in the language they understand “was controversial, afterwards the president used it in a tweet referring to the Biafra war.
He had warned the insurgents in the southeast of the destruction of the country. However, many accused him of being insensitive, adding that he had never used such strong words against those behind the security crisis in the north.
Eventually, the tweet was removed from Twitter. The federal government insisted that the “tweet was not a threat but an assertion of fact”, adding that Twitter’s action was based on a “misunderstanding of the challenges Nigeria is facing today.”
While not addressing the issue directly, by using the same controversial statement on the bandits in the north, the president has shown in a way that he is not biased against the southeast, and he is only has raised the criminals causing havoc in the country.
Allegations related to his appointment
Since coming to power, President Buhari has been repeatedly accused of appointments in favor of the North . Most recently, Major General Farouk Yahaya was appointed Chief of the Army Staff.
Although many are still not convinced, the President has at least talked about what he has taken into account in the appointment and in particular revealed, why General Yahaya was appointed.
THE BAD: The message to the governors
Regarding the security challenges, President Buhari said he had two governors from the southwest recently visited him to brief him on the threat posed by the killer herdsmen in their states.
“You know these people better than I do , and you are democratically elected to protect your people. Don’t sit idly by expecting me to do whatever I can and take action. “
Governors, especially from the southwest, are already taking action, but there is one Limit to what it can do, security remains an item on the exclusive list.
Ibidolapo Olufade, a legal expert, argued in an article that state governors can find a way to create security agencies through the Houses of Assemblies of the states, most of the security responsibility still rests with the federal government.
Citing relevant constitutional provisions, Olufade also presented states that state-created security agencies also obtain a license from the federal government before members of the security team can acquire and carry weapons.
Behave yourself – the embassy to the Nigerian n youths
One of the President’s main job is to ensure safety, but the President has delegated that job to the Nigerian youth who asked what he was doing to increase direct investment in the country.
President Buhari referred to the #EndSARS protests in October 2020, which turned violent and led to the destruction of public and private property in Lagos and other states.
He said youngsters need to be safe if they want a job, noting that no one will invest in a country where there is uncertainty.
What the president did not admit was that his failure to respond to agitation by Nigerian youth against the men of the defunct SARS led to the protests. It was also his very slow response to protesters’ demands that prolonged the demonstrations to the point where they were kidnapped by crooks.
Reacted in response to the statement Yusuff Adewale Ayoola, a young Nigerian engineer and social critic, said President Buhari only participated in his usual blame.
“PMB has never admitted that he is failing Nigerians, not just the youth. He’s always apologizing and shifting the blame since he took office. Both his speech and his silence always threaten the unity of our country. In my opinion, he’s just playing his usual game of “debt shifts”.
Mutiat Ibrahim, a young Nigerian critic and social advocate based in the UK, berated the president for that too such a statement.
She noted that the president was elected to serve a number of purposes, including providing jobs.
“The youth too say that if they want work they should behave, shows that he doesn’t feel the pain of thousands of us out there and doesn’t care about the development of the nation. ”
THE UGLY: Weidewege / open grazing
President Buhari urged governors to address the security crisis in their states. Now the governors, especially the governors of the south, have taken, among other things, the ban on open grazing of cattle, which is one of the main causes of the pastoral crisis.
When asked what If he is doing to deal with the crisis, one would note that the president would mention plans to encourage the shepherds to consider a ranch in line with the previously revealed but pending National Livestock Transformation Program.
However, the president shockingly said his plan was to bring back the open grazing trails in the country as they were practiced in the First Republic.
He said: < / p>
“I asked him (AGF) to go and dig up the Official Gazette of the First Republic when people were obeying laws.
” There were cattle paths and pastures. Cattle routes were for when they (shepherds) wandered up the country, north to south or east to west, they had to go through there. ”
However, in a published statement On Sunday June 13, noted human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) said President Buhari was referring to the Grazing Reserves Act of 1964, which only applied to northern Nigeria in the 1960s.
Similarly, Ajibola Basiru, Senate spokesman and member of President Buhari’s APC party, said there is no law on pasture roads in Nigeria.
To admit Falana’s statements Repeating lawmakers said the gazette President Buhari was referring to was a product of a decree promulgated in northern Nigeria in the 1960s, adding that the constitution-recognized land use law made it ineffective. p>
“Da I’ll keep this to myself “, was President Buhari’s response to the question about when the lockdown on Twitter in Nigeria will be lifted.
Twitter has to be in Be more neutral on its operating policies, but blocking the platform is not the way to go. especially for a country that holds the notorious record of being the world’s capital of poverty.
Nigeria has raised 34.83 billion in 16 days since the Twitter ban came into force N ($ 96.23 million) lost on Saturday June 5th, according to NetBlock’s Cost of Shutdown Tool, which uses indicators from the World Bank, ITU, Eurostat to assess the economic impact of internet disruptions, mobile data outages or app restrictions and the US Census estimates.
Twitter has over the years become a source of income for Nigerian youth who help companies promote their businesses. The social media platform is also a powerful tool that Nigerian startups use to provide customer support to their users.
For a country where prices are rising in 2020, seven million citizens will be in The World Bank says suspending / banning Twitter is not the way to go and it is sad that the President did not see the suspension as important enough to be addressed during the interview.
Although the interview includes both the good and the ugly answers, overall it was the right move for the President to speak to Nigerians.
The interview gave citizens the opportunity to understand the President’s position on various issues affecting the nation and to express their positions individually.
Like Reuben Abati, one of the front line journalists, the one with the pra denten spoke, said: “Whoever advised President Buhari to allow the interview” , “did him a great favor.” p>