Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s national address on Thursday as devoid of sympathy, empathy, fatherly feelings, or even milk of human kindness for a nation on the precipice. The human rights activist said, the speech was insensitivite and portrays a disconnect between the government and the people. According to Ozekhome, the speech was more of a “military dicta, a ferocious barracks riot Act, read to some unruly riotous mutineers and insurrectionists, to bring them to book. He simply talked down on Nigerians, not with Nigerians.”
He said he felt quite depressed and saddened. “He lost a rare golden, momentous and historic opportunity to unify a profusely hemorrhaging and badly fractured nation. He spoke more like an emperor addressing cringing servants, nay, slaves in bondage,” Ozekhome stated. The senior lawyer said, “President Buhari reeled out what he considered to be his government’s presumed economic innovations to tackle the travails of a decaying nation. He found time to ‘pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty’ but found no single word, phrase or sentence, to console or condole with the mourning families of the youths that were mauled down in cold blood by the same trigger – happy officers. He never found a word of empathy ,or even sympathy, for the innocent Nigerian flags – waving peaceful protesters who were hacked down in their hundreds across the nation.
“Mr president was not yet done. He blamed the ‘spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular’ as amounting to a ‘ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour ‘. “Mr president sir, we all live in Nigeria here, a big prison yard. We do not need social media to educate us about our grinding poverty, mass unemployment, lack of basic social amenities and non availability of light, educational, medical, water and security environment. Nigerians do not require the social media to tell them about police brutality, extra- judicial killings, increased corruption, a parlous economy, an inequitable social justice system, non observance of the rule of law, human rights, obedience to court orders and the general environment of despondency, haplessness and hopelessness.”