The President is back. And he has spoken.
“So what?’’ you say.
The President of Nigeria spends 103 days outside of the Country on medical leave and he returns and delivers a speech that leaves us wondering if someone is not trying to make a fool of us all.
The speech is at best weak, lacklustre and ineffective. At worst, it is downright annoying and possibly insulting. Let me explain.
The president has been away for longer than normal. In his absence, a lot of issues were raised and concerns expressed about various aspects of our national life. In fact, our very existence as a nation has been called to question, and there is a threat of a break up hanging over the nation.
In all of his time away, there was not one national broadcast to assure the people that all was well, or not. Naturally, expectations were high that upon his return he would deal with the plethora of issues on the ground. Unfortunately, not so.
President Buhari merely mentioned the issues we face as a Nation. There was nothing decisive, tangible or actionable in the entire 15 paragraph speech. The speech was like something hurriedly put together to fulfill the proverbial “all righteousness.” But one wonders why this is so.
The President arrived on Saturday and we were told he would address the nation on Monday. He had two clear days at the very least to prepare to deliver the speech. But then we know that no President prepares his own speech; surely, there is a team of speechwriters at the President’s beck and call?
Speechwriting is a serious endeavor; speechwriters conduct research, analyze issues and situations and then write speeches that speak directly to the occasion. This has not been done. We would have been better served if the address had been put on hold for a few more days to allow for greater input.
What the nation needs right now is a speech that will inspire confidence in the President’s ability to function, pull us closer together as a people and chart a clear course out of the present quagmire. And while we do not expect a complete economic blueprint, it would not have been out of place to say something that would ‘breathe’ some life into the economic landscape. Economies can, and do rise and fall based on a President’s words.
Sadly, the President has managed to speak without saying anything.