Why President Muhammadu Buhari has not addressed the Federation while the ongoing protests linger, remains a tough subject with confusing myriad to thoughts. The question of whether the President is on top of happenings in the Country has continued to reverberate with scathing attacks on his person. Such may however be expected, given the frustrations the populace are subjected to, in the gross heat of circumstances under which the President has kept mute.
As calls continue to heap on calls on the President to address the Nation, the total disregard to the summons has continued to spark up arrays of thoughts and speculative assertions from various angles. The tide has however deepened into heating up the polity as protesters in their demonstrations are increasingly calling for the resignation of the President. The Nigerian Senate had on Tuesday joined the call on President Buhari to immediately address the Federation on the heightening nationwide protests, urging the Presidency to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #ENDSARS movement. The Upper Chamber had stated that addressing the nation would douse the heating of the polity arising from the lingering protests. The resolutions of the Senate trailed a motion sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ekiti South and co-sponsored by 103 other Senators.
As controversies continue to trail the President’s silence, traditional rulers in the South-west where the #ENDSARS protests is very much pronounced, are beginning to join the train. The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, on Wednesday gave his call on the President to make a nationwide broadcast to douse the ongoing tension in the Country. According to the Monarch in a statement by his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Adeola Oloko, the need for such urgent address is imperative, with the notice that until the needs of the aggrieved youths are met, there may be no concrete solution to the ongoing crisis. The Monarch said: “As the father of the nation with avowed commitment to protect lives and property, including recovering economy, it has become imperative for the President to speak to Nigerians especially, the protesting youths.”
Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in his comments on Wednesday over the antithetical approach of the President to the ongoing civil unrest had said: “We are at a critical moment in this crisis and Mr President must act before it is too late. This time demands leadership and mature leadership at such. Most of the demands of the protesting youth, which Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State swiftly took to the President, are not unreasonable and can be met without anyone’s political interest or ambition being threatened. It is imperative that leaders at all levels, starting from Mr President, must demonstrate meekness, humanity and sincerity in meeting the legitimate demands of the protesters and ensuring that justice is served where it must be served. These are the most potent ways of ending this crisis now.”
It is of utmost concern to state that the lingering silence of the President is largely doing more harms than good to the Federation, under the brewing heat of overarching disturbances. Such in-proactive gesture has only done nothing than to allow matters to degenerate into a national distress of popular unrest. It is philosophically noteworthy under the workings of political culture, that followers psychologically lean on their leaders for prompt action to address matters of concern at any material time they arise. Such proactiveness encompasses prompt address in enlightened conversations with the populace, as one of the first phase of approaches in dealing with situations of distress. Observations remain valid on how in many political climes, populace resort to dissenting confrontations on accounts of leader’s in-proactivity to communicate timely and effectively with seasoned philosophies of political communication under troubling circumstances. Such laxity in action is conceived to be lying at the edge of gross political inertia.
Leaving Nigerians to gradual disintegration into groups of protesters without prompt nation-wide address is unimaginable, irreconcilable, and fishy. The grounds for such inaction hardly holds a thin premise of justification. Any reason to justify such approach to a heated polity will hardly hold sway in pacifying an angered populace, distressed by frustrations and harsh living conditions.
It is therefore on this note, important for the President to address the Federation with a maiden speech in much alacrity, to douse the rising unrest in the Country. This as posited, holds the benefit of giving a sense of belonging to the populace that their voice matters in the determination of how they are ruled. It is essential for the President and other leaders in the Country to note that the demands under the terrain of a democratic system calls for such sense of belongingness. Continuously ignoring the call for such nationwide address, is tantamount to the populace resolving that the Government of the day is insensitive to their demands, therefore a ground to sustain the unrest which may lead them to settling to reckon with another force.