Knocks For President Buhari As He Fails To Speak On #LekkiMassacre In His Speech

Following the calls of Nigerians and the world as a whole, to Buhari to address the killing of protesting youths at the Lekki Massacre of October 10, 2020, the President finally gave a national broadcast on matters arising. 

Surprisingly however, the President failed in his speech to mention the issue of armed soldiers who at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday and shot protesters.

The action of the soldiers was what led to the subsequent vandalism of public and private properties in Lagos and other states on Wednesday and Thursday.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had claimed he was not aware of the deployment of soldiers in the protest site while instituting an investigation into the matter.

Many observers had indicated that troops could not be deployed in any location without the knowledge of the President who is the Commander-in-Chief

A few hours after his broadcast eminent Nigerians and senior lawyers lashed out at the President on his silence on Lekki tollgate killings and key issues of the #EndSARS protests.

Speech short of expectations – Oyetibo

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Tayo Oyetibo, said Buhari’s speech fell below expectation, particularly as no reference was made to the Lekki tollgate killings.

Oyetibo said, “The speech was short of the expectation of many of us because there was no mention of what happened in Lekki and other parts of the country, specifically. You may not agree with what people are saying but it ought to have been mentioned.

“There was no sympathy or empathy for those who have lost their lives and what needed to be done to assuage the feelings of those people. And more importantly, they had whetted the appetite of Nigerians that far-reaching decisions were going to be taken. We didn’t see any decision taken in the speech.

“My advice to the youth is that they should go out and register for the next election, from 18 and above, they should go and register and begin to prepare for the next election.”

Buhari’s speech contains avoidable gaps – Falana

A human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) also picked holes in the speech delivered by the President in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests in the country.

Falana told The PUNCH  that the speech contained avoidable gaps.

He cited an instance of where Buhari accused the international community of jumping into hasty conclusion over the shooting of unarmed peaceful protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos State on Tuesday.

He said, “The presidential speech contained some avoidable lacunae. For instance, the President accused the international community of jumping into hasty conclusions with respect to the Lekki shootings.

“My worry is that the President would be embarrassed at the end of legal inquiry into the military invasion of the Lekki toll gate as the number of the unarmed protesters that were mowed down and the circumstances of the barbaric attack by the soldiers from a particular military barrack in Victoria Island would be exposed.

“It was good that the President consoled the families of the police personnel who unfortunately lost their lives in the course of duty. Similar presidential condolences ought to have been extended to the families of the unarmed protesters who were brutally murdered in Ogbomoso, Ibadan, Benin, Lagos etc. I want to believe that the President was not informed that unarmed protesters were slain in the premeditated attacks by police and military personnel.

“However, the President reiterated the point that the voice of the protesters had been heard loud and clear and that the Federal Government is committed to addressing the outstanding demands. Specifically, the President announced that the emoluments of police officers would be reviewed upwards. That is a concession of one of the key demands of the protesters.”

Buhari’s speech lacks empathy, emotion – #EndSARS protesters

A member of the #EndSARS movement in Abuja, Kaka George, said the President’s broadcast did not meet the expectations of the campaigners, noting that his speech lacked empathy and emotion.

George, a lawyer, noted that the presidential address failed to assuage the people’s pain and loss, adding that it was rather filled with recriminations and threats of sanctions.

The activist whose Toyota SUV was damaged during an attack on #EndSARS protesters in Abuja stated, “He (Buhari) didn’t speak to the protesters; there was no empathy, no any form of emotion to show that he felt the pain Nigerians have gone through in the past couple of days and hours.”

Another #EndSARS campaigner, Uche Philips, criticized the broadcast which he said did not address the aspirations of Nigerian youths.

He noted that the President failed to use the opportunity to speak to the issues that concerned the activists, stressing that the presidential speech fell below expectations.

Buhari’s broadcast  empty,   devoid of leadership – African Bar Association

Similarly, the President of the African Bar Association, Mr Hannibal Uwaifo, said the President’s speech was devoid of leadership qualities.

Uwaifo said, “The African Bar Association hereby unequivocally condemns the national broadcast of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari. The address, which was empty and devoid of any leadership, shows that Nigeria is on a rudderless passenger train heading for an unknown destination.

“AfBA views the President’s recalcitrance, thoughtlessness and lack of empathy as irresponsible and evil and a naked display of cruelty and arrogance. Our commitment to dragging the Nigerian government before the International Criminal Court and other international organisations to account for its criminal acts against the people of Nigeria has been further reinforced.”    ,,

Buhari acts like engaging Nigerians is beneath him – Chimamanda

Bestselling author, Chimamanda Adichie, says the President sometimes acts in a manner that seems as if engaging with Nigerians is beneath him.

Adichie stated this in an article published in New York Times titled, ‘Nigeria Is Murdering Its Citizens’ on Thursday, hours before Buhari’s televised speech.

She wrote, “The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has long been ineffectual, with a kind of wilful indifference. Under his leadership, insecurity has worsened; there is the sense that Nigeria could very well burn to the ground while the President remains malevolently aloof. The President himself has often telegraphed a contemptuous self-righteousness, as though engaging fully with Nigerians is beneath him.”

Buhari’ broadcast speechless speech – Fayose

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, in a tweet expressed disappointment with the broadcast of the president.

But Fayose, who, in a tweet, reacted to Buhari’s broadcast, described it as “speechless speech,” adding, “i warned Nigerians”.

On her part, Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu,  said the President seemed to be forgetting that the #EndSARS protest was not about his initiatives but rather about police brutality in Nigeria and the level of impunity in which security officials operate in Nigeria.

The People’s Democratic Party also dismissed the address by the President.

The party’s position was contained in a statement titled “EndSARS: Buhari’s Address Disconnected, Failed Empathy Test – PDP,” signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, late on Thursday.

He said the PDP described the long-awaited address by the President about the protests rocking the nation, as disappointing and completely disconnected from the realities of the tragic occurrences in the country in the last two weeks.

 Nigerian celebrities express disappointment in Buhari’s address

Nigerian celebrities expressed disappointment in the address of the President.

Popular artiste, Adekunle Gold, in a series of tweets, wondered why the President did not mention the Lekki shootings and killings in Zamfara.

He urged the youth to be united.

“Wait what?!!  My heart cannot take this! My God! I’m dazed!

“We all have one common challenge and it’s our bad leaders not our fellow brothers and sisters,” he wrote.

Also, singer and songwriter, Ayodeji Balogun, aka Wizkid, sighed, saying, “God help Nigeria.”

While David Adeleke, aka Davido, simply remarked, ‘Wahala’, Damini Ogulu, aka Burnaboy, quipped, ‘Huh?’

Singer, Paul Okoye, of the Psquare fame, fell on the floor of his house, as he ‘fainted’ after watching the address.

‘Your speech was useless, insensitive’ – Apostle Johnson Suleman

Suleman described Buhari’s speech as insensitive and useless.

He questioned the president’s failure to address the Lekki Toll Gate shooting in Lagos State.

In a tweet, the clergyman insisted that the broadcast was a waste of time.

According to Apostle Suleman: “Never had a more ‘wasted 12mins’ all my life, insensitive and useless speech. Who gave the orders for people to be killed?

“What’s the repercussions of such blatant impunity? nobody was fired for lives wasted?.

“No compensation for victims family? I wish I can “unwatch” it.”

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