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OPINION: Nigerians Are Dying,PMB Should Address The Nation In A Live Broadcast

Alas, many Nigerians have lost their lives again! And this is one of the most recent attacks from the terror group, Boko Haram. This time around, well over 30 innocent citizens were killed and many were left injured in the multiple bomb explosions that occurred at two motor parks in Gombe on Wednesday(www.naij.com/495681-gombe-comes-under-attack-again.html). This came only after some hours when the village of the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Major General T.Y Buratai was attacked. To set the record straight, this deadly insurgent group has killed well over 600 innocent Nigerians in separate attacks since May 29 when Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as president. States of Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Kaduna, Plateau and Gombe have been the target of these attacks. This is no doubt very disheartening. Day by day, many Nigerians are losing hope. In fact, they are already tired of the usual “We shall defeat Boko Haram” slogan by this new administration. With the look of things, it seems as though members of this insurgent group have even become more formidable in the last eight weeks. Few days ago, I was having a chat with two of my friends who happen to be very ardent supporters of President Buhari. Our discussion centred on the appraisal of this current administration with emphasis on the war against insurgency. While the argument was on, one of them was quick to say: “We voted for change especially in the area of insecurity. I find it very painful to know that more and more Nigerians are being killed every day. This time around, it seems to be going out of hand. I hope we haven’t wasted our votes again sha ooo!.”. And then very swiftly, the other friend replied him: “Haba! See, I know it’s very painful that many Nigerians still die from these useless attacks. But, to be candid we shouldn’t expect president Buhari to defeat Boko Haram in seven or eight weeks. There is need for the implementation of his plans. Let’s just give him time. We shouldn’t lose hope so soon. We have a very competent president!” Is president Buhari doing enough to stem the tide of this menace? Since his inauguration, the president had travelled to the Republic of Chad, Niger, G7 Summit in Germany and just recently United States of America. The war against insurgency has no doubt been on top of his agenda. He has also replaced the National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs and the Director of National Intelligence. These appointments have been described by those military officers who have once been under the tutelage of these newly appointed men as round pegs in round holes. Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has also visited victims of these bomb blasts as well as camps of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to show that the welfare of Nigerians is of priority to their government. That’s quite commendable. But, is that enough? The presidential spokespersons have also been making a number of press statements available to defend the president and relate the efforts of the government to Nigerians. Well, that’s expected of them. You would quickly recall that the spokespersons of the ex-president Goodluck Jonathan did the same. Needless to say, they even did that to such a level that many Nigerians got fed up and indeed became angry. With the look of things, it’s quite understandable that the president and his vice are very committed to ensuring that insurgency is abruptly brought to an end. However, something very important is missing and that should be fixed as soon as possible. I expect President Muhammadu Buhari to come out, being the captain of the ship, and talk to Nigerians on these daunting challenges which the country is trying to sail across. Why Should Mr President Address Nigerians In a Live Broadcast? By addressing the people of Nigeria, Mr President will further reassure all citizens that they are truly in safe hands and he would also be able to state categorically that a lot of efforts are being made to achieve a terror-free nation. Truth be told, many Nigerians are far losing their patience and trust in the government of the day. While speaking to the nation, he must reiterate the strong commitment of his administration, calm frayed nerves and boost the morale of Nigerians. At least, an average Nigerian should then be able to boldly say: “Our president spoke to us today; Boko Haram would soon become a thing of the past. My waning confidence and passion has been re-ignited” Also, such an unprecedented move will help re-echo the fact that Change has come and the democracy in Nigeria is no longer how it used to be— it’s now people-centred. The president would also be able to affirm that the life of every single Nigerian is very crucial to our survival as a people with common destiny. This will show that the lives of Nigerians worth more than just condolence messages and press statements that are made available when bomb blasts occur. In fact, speaking to millions of Nigerians in a live broadcast (when it’s not a special national day like Jan 1, May 29 and Oct 1) because of the current security and economic crisis sends a strong message that indeed Change has come. In addition to the reasons stated above, the appearance of president Buhari in a live broadcast would help deactivate unnecessary peddling of rumours as far as the fight against insurgency and other related issues are concerned. Presently, there are lots of distorted versions of government’s actions and inactions by detractors. Nigerians should hear directly from their president what he has done, what he is doing and what remains to be done. The true picture of the nation would therefore be seen by all and sundry. In the coming days, I expect the media team of President Muhammadu Buhari to make a solid arrangement for him to address the nation. I’m pretty sure that the effect of this would be more magical than they could ever imagine. I presume a scenario like this must have also occupied the mind of Abraham Lincoln when he passionately stated: “Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Mr President, the people of Nigeria are yearning to hear from you sir. And I think that should be as soon as possible. Kofoworola Ayodeji is a Nigerian writer and transformational speaker that’s passionately involved in nation-building.

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