Lessons From Buhari’s Voice Message To His Hausa Brothers

By Ikenga Chronicles June 26, 2017

Lessons From Buhari’s Voice Message To His Hausa Brothers

May 7th,2017, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari left the country on an indefinite medical leave in the United Kingdom. That would be the second time in a year (a year that is only six months old) that the President will be jetting out to London, on an indefinite medical leave. The first was in January, and he spent about 50days in London. Even after he was hurriedly flown back, he was seen only about five times, all within the Presidential Villa, before he returned to London.

What is clearly the case is that since the last two weeks of January, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari has not been able to perform the functions of his office. Those duties have been shared between his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the alleged members of the President’s “Cabal”.

There have however been differences between the President’s first medical leave which was between January-March, and his current medical leave. For instance, the first one was marked by visits from several key loyalists of his, photo-ops, and even the comical phone calls from him to allies in Nigeria. The second one however was really characterised by pin-drop silence. No photo-ops, no visits, no phone calls. That was until late Saturday when the Presidency released a “Voice Note” from Mr. President, to “Nigerians”.

Former Aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Reno Omokri, has already done a good job of asking why the President would send a message to Nigerians, in Hausa, when not all Nigerians understand the language. According to Mr. Omokri, such action speaks volumes of the divisive nature of the President. Mr. Omokri may have overreacted, but the truth is, it is only right for Mr. President to address the people he leads in a language they all understand. Sending a message in Hausa simply shows he is only interested in talking to people from his tribe.

Or perhaps, there is more to it. Is Mr. President in such a bad shape that he could not construct words in English? That is possible, as he isn’t naturally fluent in English. The Hausa language was thus easier since it is a language he can sub-consciously rattle off in.

Another thing that can also be easily deduced from the Voice Note, is the fact that the mere act of speaking for a little over one minute was a huge effort for Mr. President. He sounded completely out of breath, and too weak.This concretizes the assertion by Sahara Reporters that Mr. President is suffering from speech impairment. But more than that, the difficulty he experienced in talking for a little over a minute shows that the President is far from fit.

While it is a welcome development that President Muhammadu Buhari finally spoke to Nigerians (or more appropriately, his Hausa brothers), the fundamental question of his capacity to continue to rule the country still remains. It is now a question of how long the cabal will continue the hide-and-seek.