#EndSARS: Buhari’s speech, an insult on Nigerians – Ekiti PDP

By DAPO FALADE

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled himself as a dictator who does not have the interest and welfare of Nigerians at heart.

The party made the allegation in a statement issued by the chairman of its Ekiti State chapter, Otunba Bisi Kolawole, in reaction to the president’s speech on the shootings and killings of some of the #EndSARS at Lekki Toll Plaza, Lagos, on Tuesday.

The party said the president has “bared his fangs as a dictator and openly displayed his disdain and hatred for Nigerians”, going by the content of the speech to Nigerians on Thursday, describing it as lacklustre and speechless.

The Ekiti PDP chairman said Buhari only came out to further insult the collective sensibilities of the people, after almost two weeks of silence on the peaceful protest by youths against bad governance, instead of seeking to assuage the feelings of the people.

“We in the PDP have been saying it over the years that Nigeria and Nigerians have never had it so bad until the misadventure into power of this man who has, since 2015 when he came into office, demonstrated that he has no business being the president of the most populous country in Black Africa.

“It is very unfortunate that, after almost two weeks of waiting for the president to address the unfortunate shootings and killings of unarmed youths whose only offence was in seeking for a better society, President Buhari only succeeded in further insulting our collective sensibility.

“Many of our youths were mowed down in an unprovoked attack by the military at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos on that unfortunate Black Tuesday, even as several others are still nursing various degrees of wounds. Even Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu attested to the fact that soldiers were shooting at the scene of the incident.

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“Our president maintained a stony silence over the incident, even as the international community and every other reasonable humans were admonishing and begging him to address his people as a way to assuage their bruised and wounded pysche. Rather, the president was silent, behaving like King Nero while his Kingdom was burning.

“48 hours after the Lekki TollGate massacre, President Buhari reluctantly agreed to talk to Nigerians, reading from a badly written speech whose content clearly showed the level of hatred the president and his speech writers have for the people.

“It is rather unfortunate that the president, who claimed to be the father of all, could further rub salt to the festering wounds by starting his address on the note of aggression on a note of warning to the peaceful protesters, even when he acknowledged the excesses of the disbanded SARS. What good father does that?,”

He said the president further baring his fangs as a dictator in the speech which he said further rendered Nigerians speechless, when he, on one hand admitted that the protesters have genuine concerns and, at the same time, declared war on the people by saying: “Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.”

Otunba Kolawole said: “Rather than addressing the entirety of the people, some of who lost their loved ones in the unwarranted shootings and killings, our president singled out the Oba of Lagos, whose palace was vandalised by thugs and miscreants who have nothing in common with the genuine peaceful protesters.

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“He called the traditional ruler a peacemaker and deliberately chose to be silent on the violence that took place in some other states in the southern part of the country.

“Rather than seeking to find solutions to the issues raised by the genuine young protesters, our president embarked upon a journey of vain-gloriousness, reeling out questionable achievements that have neither been able to put a smile on the faces of Nigerians nor put food on their table.

“He accused the traditional media and citizen journalists, that is the social media, of spreading deliberate falsehood and misinformation about the activities of his ill-fated administration but he has clearly forgotten that nothing is hidden under the surface of the earth.

“Rather than addressing the issue of a sincere and fundamental reforms, as asked for by the #EndSARS protesters, Buhari was busy pointing to the commitment of his administration to the wellbeing and welfare of citizens.

“The president talked about phoney payment of three months’ salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small-and medium-enterprises; registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission; giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans; and guaranteeing market for the products of traders.

“The president further insulted our collective sensibility when he listed the following in the drab speech as part of his achievements, Farmermoni, Tradermoni, Marketmoni, N-Power, N-Tech and N-Agro, among others and all which, to all intents and purposes, have not helped in any way to reduce or alleviate the pervading poverty in the land.

“The president also affirmed the forceful resolution of his administration to preserve the unity of the country, by all means possible and, at the same time, continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected.

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“He dared the neighbouring countries and international community and told them pointedly to stop being meddlesome. He insulted them asking them “to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements.” What could be more insulting?

“Demonstrating the natural dictator that he is, our pseudo-democratic president finally told the protesting youths to stop action as doing otherwise “will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.” He is, indeed, a father to all.”

The Ekiti PDP chairman however said Nigerians should be careful of those he described as pseudo-democrats in power and urged registered voters to ensure that they are voted out of office in the next elections across the country.

“For us in the PDP, we will admonish our people to be wary of these pseudo-democrats in power. The road to true freedom is long, tortuous and windy, but we should continue to endure. Behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. We, as a people, shall surely overcome.

“It is a known fact that democracy remains the best form of government, in spite of the inherent mistakes. Our people should shed themselves of their lethargy and apathy against the democratic process.

“It lies in your power to do the needful and the rightful. Get your voter cards updated and be ready to vote out these pretenders in 2022 and 2023,” he added.

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