The much anticipated address by President Muhammadu Buhari took place on Monday, with Mr. Buhari again failing the integrity test, after he returned from a 104 days second medical vacation to the United Kingdom.
Contrary to the expectation of millions of Nigerians, who massively voted him to power in 2015, he failed again to show integrity by disclosing the sickness he was diagnosed with that kept him again away from the job he was elected to do for over 100 days.
This was important so that Nigerians could form an opinion if he is still a fit and proper person to bring about the change they voted for. As a public figure, burdened with the dreams and aspirations of millions of Nigerians, disclosing his health status was a simple duty he owed them. Moreso, when he coasted to power on a promise of transparency.
Instead of doing the right thing first, Mr. Buhari tried to cover up by talking tough, warning those trying to foment trouble in the country that Nigerian’s unity not negotiable.
He declared that Nigerians have the right to live and do business in any part of the country without let or hindrance.
In a national broadcast on Monday morning, President Buhari said the country was better staying together.
He ordered security agencies to step up the fight against insurgency, so that the gains of the past 18 months will not be lost.
Mr. Buhari urged Nigerians to play down on petty differences and come together to face economic, security, environmental and other challenges facing the country.
President Buhari’s speech reads: “I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.
“In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.
“In 2003, after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown, Daura. Over two days, we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analysed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.
“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.
“Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance. I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.
“This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.
“The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.
“The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.
“Furthermore, I am charging the security agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax. Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety. Therefore, we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against elements of Boko Haram, which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets; kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes; in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.
“Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of economic security, political evolution and integration as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.
“I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.”