President Muhammadu Buhari has something to say about the state of Nigeria. But he doesn’t seem interested, or perhaps confident enough, in saying it to the faces of the people who elected him into office.
The country faces rising cost of living, soaring poverty and anti-government protests with many calling on the president to address his employers — the people — directly.
The president has responded by sending a message to the largest demography of the population, the youth, but not in person.
“I have sent a team led by the Chief of Staff Professor Ibrahim Gambari to go round the country, talk to traditional rulers, who will then talk to the youths,” Buhari said via his media aide Femi Adesina on Monday.
“The views of the youths have been heard,” he said.
Critics beleive the Presidency is protecting Buhari, who is fond of going silent in the days of Nigeria’s trouble, from public scrutiny.
Since becoming president in 2015, Buhari has rarely been interviewed live by Nigerian journalists.
Buhari has also jettisoned the “presidential media chat”, a tradition started by former leader Olusegun Obasanjo to provide a live avenue for journalists to ask important questions in real time. Nigerians were allowed to phone in during the programme to query the president about happenings in the country.
Buhari has not had a presidential media chat since the only one he had 2015.