I listened to the speech of President Muhammadu Buhari in the quaking consciousness of an Arsenal Football Club fan. Every football aficionado knows that the club has not been performing “exceptionally” lately.
Before Buhari, US President Donald Trump spoke. He gave a debilitating smirk when he talked about the “killing of Christians and burning of churches in Nigeria”. He said: “This is horrible; we cannot allow this to happen.”
I was expecting Buhari to address this aspect of Trump’s speech with gravitas. But I was served rice without stew. All words no point. I was disappointed that the president showed his default lack of spunk and alacrity on the killings in the country in the speech.
I was expecting him to at least – in one sentence – state the measure his government was taking to address the problem. But he divagated to blaming the herdsmen killings on the crisis in the Middle East again.
Also, Buhari donated generous paragraphs in his speech to “thanking and congratulating” Trump. He appeared subdued; like he was in the house of a benefactor. I had expected him to show his “presidential stamina”. But, perhaps, the Trump factor trumped him.
By the way, President Buhari said Nigeria is a secular state. Is this a fact? A secular state when the government spends billions of naira annually on pilgrimages for both Christians and Muslims? A secular state when religion is exalted above the constitution and all known laws?
Well, maybe I expected too much from President Buhari’s speech being his first at the White House under Trump. His speech was at best vapid and tepid.
Fredrick is a writer, journalist and media entrepreneur. He can be reached on Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo, Facebook: Fredrick Nwabufo