The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, has described the President’s speech as a missed opportunity to reconnect with Nigerians.
The party said the speech, which was aimed at intimidating Nigerians, did not address pertinent issues the citizens expected their President to tackle.
The statement, which was signed by the Head of Administration of the party, Chinwe Nnorom, said Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief when their President arrived in the country after more than three months in London.
It said, “When last Friday the Presidency issued a statement intimating the people of the imminent return of President Buhari to the country after his more than three-month medical vacation in London with, not a few Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief, thanking God for delivering our President and expectantly looked forward to a robust speech that would boost the confidence of the people in the capacity of the government to continue to take on the huge challenges of governance.
“However, rather than rekindle that hope and confidence, that speech can most charitably be described as a monumental anticlimax.
“The President and his handlers missed a golden opportunity to reconnect with the people through addressing issues that have direct bearing on their well-being and those of their children and dependents.
“Indeed, the President’s speech did not contain anything new. The PDP had had cause to commend the then Acting President for going round the country to engage with relevant stakeholders, which certainly was a better approach.”
The party added that its believed that rather than rehashing the worn-out clichés about Nigeria’s unity not being negotiable, Nigerians would have loved to hear their President come out definitively to tell them what realistic measures his government intended to take to uproot the causes of the perennial agitations that were becoming a recurring decimal in the national discourse.
The statement added, “The casual mention of ‘elements of Boko Haram, kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes, among others, was also somewhat on the perfunctory side and does not imbue confidence.
“President Buhari returned to the country in a week that saw the closure of all our public universities as a result of the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
“Yet, not even a whimper from our President. Has the future of the future leaders of our country sunk so low in the estimation of our current leaders that the issue was considered not important enough to command a mention in the President’s address?