Several Nigerians have taken to social media to blast the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari for his ‘shocking’ refusal to address Nigerians on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike his counterparts in various parts of the world, President Buhari has refused to speak on the matter at all.
The Senate had last week asked the president to address Nigerians..
The Presidency bowed to pressure on Thursday with one of the President’s spokesmen, Garba Shehu, issuing a statement advising Nigerians to observe personal hygiene.
Shehu also lambasted the Senate for asking the President to do a television broadcast, describing it as cheap politics.
On Friday, the President, through his official Twitter handle, sent out a message of encouragement to Nigerians.
He tweeted, “Protecting Nigerians from the coronavirus is a key priority for us as a government. We have the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control working round-the-clock with several other agencies, as well as state governments, to ensure this.
“I have absolute confidence in the relevant ministers in the cabinet, the Presidential Task Force on coronavirus which I recently established, and the officials of the NCDC who are all providing constant updates and professional counsel.”
However, the tweets were met with cynicism and criticism.
The critics stated that a television broadcast would send a better message than tweets which are directed at the President’s two million followers.
Responding to one of the President’s tweets, a former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, wrote, “Faceless ghosts hide behind hand-held and credit someone else with words.
“They forget that, actually, communication has DNA. It’s easy to know this is not from @MBuhari. It’s not his syntax or sentence DNA. It’s not difficult to figure out who wrote this, is it?”
“You have only 2.6m followers on Twitter. Go on-air and speak to your 180million citizens,” @KingCossy1 tweeted.
@Zuchradio also tweeted, “Buhari, if there wasn’t social media, wouldn’t you communicate with the people you govern? I see no reason for tweeting instead of a live broadcast.”
Read more tweets below:
You Are The Most Useless President The World Has Ever Seen
You won’t attend Election Debate
You Address Nigerians On Failed Insecurity
You Won’t Talk Yo Nigerians On The Pandemic Coronavirus
What’s Your Essence As A President?
— Amotekun (@Effavirenz) March 20, 2020
We did not vote Ministry of Health, NCDC or State Government to be our President, This is a National issue and we expect a Live National address from Mr President
— Honey Badger (@007_oj) March 20, 2020
Speak to us. Stop tweeting. Let’s see if you can pronounce corona virus.
— Sosa (@KAKUfrank) March 20, 2020
A statement from Abba Kyari the CinC pic.twitter.com/D3tXUMx503
— Truthfully (@Truthfully83) March 20, 2020
Speak to us if you are aware of this post. You only have 2+mil followers here. There 200m people you expect to communicate to
— Mhezito10 (@mhezito10) March 20, 2020
You have only 2.6m followers on twitter. Go on air and speak to your 180million citizens!!!!!
— Cosmond Aburime (@KingCossy1) March 20, 2020
The joke is on you. Wearing your purdah and nestled safely within the bosom of Aso Rock. You will go down in our history as the most reticient and arrogant president we ever had the misfortune to have, especially at this trying time.
Please go to UK for your regular holidays.
— Victor Ọrúnla (@DynamiteAsegun) March 20, 2020
We don’t want social media address! Come and address on air! Not everyone is on social media..
— Jumi Josh-Falade (@FaladeJumi) March 20, 2020