Of a President That Talks Down on His People

By Eric Elezuo

For the uninitiated, many years ago, the late maverick singer, Fela Anikulakpo Kuti, did a song where he used lyrics like ‘my people are useless, my people are senseless, my people are indiscipline’. He was not just singing; he was angrily reporting the bad image his Head of State painted of Nigerians which he was a vibrant member of. In his anger he added ‘na animal talk be that , na craze man talk be that. That Head of State is our present President, Muhammed Buhari. He made the statement far away from the shores of Nigeria, drawing the irk of not a few of his countrymen

However, the sad reality today is that nothing has changed from the original careless talk of 1984 today; if anything, it has grown worse than it ever was.

On Wednesday, in faraway London while attending a Commonwealth meeting, the President was reported to have said that Nigerian youths are lazy, and only want to enjoy freebies. Though it has been discovered that the President did not use those exact words, but the words he used meant nothing less and even suggest worse.

It is believed that the President of a country, no matter how depraved or corrupt they may be, is duty-bound to defend the territorial integrity of the country, not only in military warfare but also morally, especially outside the shores of the country. But the Nigerian president is not known to spare his countrymen whenever he steps out of the country. This is a president who hardly says anything when he is at home, but finds comfort in deriding and talking down on his people at every given opportunity.

The attacks that followed his recent utterance is a clear testimony that Nigerians are tired of his uncouth statements at all times. It is not known if the President’s managers are to blame for this ‘unpresidential’ attitude or is it that we have a President who is and would not take correction. Whichever way it is, the Nigerian citizens can no longer tolerate being disgraced by none other than their own Commander in Chief.

The President’s handlers should join the multitude of Nigerians condemning the utterance, and stop painting the act, or giving it colouration that suggests the president is right or may have been misquoted. Even as maverick as the President of America, Donald Trump is, he is always seen to say ‘the good people of America’ each time he makes a speech; ours shouldn’t be a different.

The bottom line is the embarrassment just has to stop; he is a president for crying out loud, and Nigerians deserve nothing less. The country should not hold their hearts in their mouths each time Mr. President travels. It is totally unacceptable.

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