blog image
3 months ago | News

In About: 3 months ago

Views: 19058

Section: News

Buhari: 4 things wrong with president’s new year speech

4 things wrong with president's new year speech

President Buhari's new year address had a few problems which we have taken the time to highlight.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year message to Nigerians was brilliant in certain areas and not-so-brilliant in others.

As is the norm at Meets Media, we took a fine tooth-comb to the president's January, 1, 2018 address and found the following flaws….

1. Buhari didn’t take responsibility for the petrol queues

Supply gaps in the petrol value chain first became queues in the first week of December 2017. The government’s immediate reaction was to dismiss the crisis as panic buying.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its GMD, Maikanti Baru, blamed panic buying for the apparent petrol shortages across the country.

As December tapered into Christmas, the queues grew even longer and petrol became unavailable at most gas stations.

Buhari is substantive minister of petroleum. The buck stops on his desk and he should be shouldering the blame for the scarcity of petrol during the yuletide.


In his New Year message, the president deflected blame to marketers and refused to take responsibility.

According to the President;  “I am saddened to acknowledge that for many, this Christmas and New Year holidays have been anything but merry and happy. Instead of showing love, companionship and charity, some of our compatriots chose this period to inflict severe hardship on us all by creating unnecessary fuel scarcity across the country.

"The consequence was that not many could travel and the few who did had to pay exorbitant transport fares. This is unacceptable given that NNPC had taken measures to ensure availability at all depots. I am determined to get to the root of this collective blackmail of all Nigerians and ensure that whichever groups are behind this manipulated hardship will be prevented from doing so again.

“Such unpatriotism will not divert the administration from the course we have set ourselves”.


Who were these “compatriots” who chose to “inflict severe hardship on us all”? Who were these “unpatriotic” Nigerians so powerful they held a whole nation to ransom during the festive season?

If Buhari couldn't tackle these nameless guys before the crisis went into overdrive; if the petroleum minister sat pretty whilst a bunch of marketers messed up his ministry and his people and ruined their Christmas for good, of what use is he?

Buhari was supposed to be the tough guy who wouldn’t allow anyone hold him to ransom.

And how come the administration didn’t tackle the crisis headlong until Nigerians could no longer find petrol to buy?


What if Buhari’s New Year script had contained the following words: “As Petroleum Resources Minister and C-in-C, I take full responsibility for the petrol scarcity which ensured that this Christmas and New Year holidays have been anything but merry and happy for Nigerians. We promise that this won’t happen again under my watch”.

What if he had muttered those lines passionately while looking directly into the cameras?

Well, he didn’t.

ALSO READ: Here's full text of president's new year address

In his New Year message to millions of Nigerians, the president missed a golden opportunity to earn another leadership epaulet.

2. Buhari shouldn’t have called Nigerians ‘impatient’

There are no people on earth as patient and tolerant of inept leadership as Nigerians.

For years, Nigerians have endured poor and rudderless leadership from the elite; for years; Nigerians have been pushed to walls and scorned; for years, Nigerians have had no decent road surfaces to drive on; for decades, Nigerians have taken suffering and economic hardship on the chin, mouthing the religious cliché ‘one day, e go beta’, while flocking to churches to seek for a change in their fortunes.


The average Nigerian is the very definition of patience. He's been bruised and battered by government, but he trudges on with his hustle no less.

However, his president doesn’t think so. He gives him no props for his longsuffering.

“We Nigerians can be very impatient and want to improve our conditions faster than may be possible considering our resources and capabilities. When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure”, Buhari said on New Year’s day.

It was a most insensitive and tone-deaf thing to say in whatever context, on the first day of the year.

3. No mention of ghost employees in federal agencies

President Buhari addressed the nation just hours after his administration was pilloried and bashed for appointing as many as eight dead persons into federal agencies.


Yet there was no space in Buhari’s speech for a gaffe that should thoroughly embarrass the presidency.

The president could have used the opportunity of his nationwide broadcast to apologise for the error and explain why it happened.

But he didn’t.

4. Buhari doesn’t believe in restructuring and that's sad

Hopes of restructuring the Nigerian federation under Buhari, perished on January 1, 2018.

Long live restructuring as a concept or policy proposition while Buhari remains the nation’s number one citizen.

In Buhari’s words: “In respect of political developments, I have kept a close watch on the on-going debate about “Restructuring.

“When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure.


"We tried the parliamentary system: we jettisoned it. Now there are shrill cries for a return to the parliamentary structure. In older democracies, these systems took centuries to evolve so we cannot expect a copied system to fit neatly our purposes”.

Exactly how not to kill an idea whose time has come.

What else do you think was wrong with Buhari’s New Year address?

Curated: Meets

Local AFP Photo

Local AFP is a Reporter at Meets Media, a digital journalist who reports on News and some other section of our website.

Add Comments