The Oasis Reporters
June 26, 2016
The Presidency has released President Muhammadu Buhari’s audio message to Nigerians in a bid to debunk reports that he is suffering from speech impairment.
There have been recent reports that the President was suffering from speech impairment and memory loss.
However, in the recording which was listened to by The Oasis Reporters in Hausa , aired on Sunday by some radio stations, including the BBC, the President was heard felicitating with Nigerians on the occasion of Eid-el Fitr.
Mr. Buhari thanked Nigerians for their consistent prayers for his well-being and urged all citizens, irrespective of their socio-political affiliations, to always avoid hate speech and divisive tendencies capable of causing disaffection among them.
He also prayed for good harvest as farmers embarked on agricultural activities occasion by the commencement of rainfalls across the country.
The voice seemed slurred and very slow, as if speech was tiring and difficult.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, had on Saturday in a statement issued a similar message in English, Nigeria’s official language.
Mr. Buhari left Abuja for London on May 7, for follow-up medical checks.
The Yoruba socio cultural organization, Afenifere described the speech as causing “more damage than good”, adding that it should have been more credible.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin said: “The audio evidence provided should have been more credible in this age and time when it is easy to do all kind of things with voice on computer.
However, whatever purpose the audio message was intended for was damaged because it was done in Hausa Language given our multi-ethnicity.”
Second national vice-president of the National Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani also flayed the president for resorting to Hausa to speak to Nigerians, saying that rather, the president “only spoke to a section of Nigerians since not every person understands Hausa. If the President wants to talk to Nigerians, he can call Nigerians through NTA or other means that would afford all Nigerians the opportunity to understand him. He should address us ina language that we understand. The important thing is for us to know that he is recovering. Since he spoke in Hausa, that means he addressed a section of Nigeria.”
Mr Akin Osuntokun, Political Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, described the controversy over the President’s speech impairment as a reduction to “kindergarten contention” over a largely irrelevant medical jargon.
Osuntokun said: “Of what significance is it if he has speech impairment or not? What matters to Nigerians is whether he is fit and capable enough to function as president. Is speech impairment the only malfunction
that can incapacitate him?
What if he has something worse?
All this nitpicking is only good for theatre and distraction. It is a tragedy that the governance of Nigeria is being reduced to kindergarten contention ”
NAN and other Agencies Report