The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s nationwide broadcast as a “monumental anti-climax”.
The president addressed the country on Monday, his first speech since returning from his lengthy medical vacation in the UK.
Among the things he talked about were Nigeria’s unity, national security and the insurgency in the north-east.
The PDP said in a statement issued on Monday by Chinwe Nnorom, head, public division, that Buhari’s speech is “a missed opportunity to reconnect with Nigerians”.
The party said rather than “rehashing the worn-out clichés” about Nigeria’s unity not being negotiable, the citizens yearned to hear realistic measures the government intended to take to address agitations by various groups in the country.
“Rather than rekindle that hope and confidence, that (presidential) speech can most charitably be described as a monumental anticlimax,” the statement read.
“The president and his handlers missed a golden opportunity to reconnect with the people through addressing issues that have direct bearing on their well-being and those of their children and dependents.
“Indeed, the president’s speech did not contain anything new. The PDP had had cause to commend the then Acting President for going round the country to engage with relevant stakeholders, which certainly was a better approach.
“The casual mention of ‘elements of Boko Haram, kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes, among others, was also somewhat on the perfunctory side and does not imbue confidence.”
The party added that the speech – “aimed at intimidating Nigerians” – should have addressed pertinent issues like the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“Has the future of the future leaders of our country sunk so low in the estimation of our current leaders that the issue was considered not important enough to command a mention in the President’s address?” the PDP asked.