By Desmond Ekwueme

Posted  245 Views updated 1 year ago

On behalf of Nigerians who reason like me, I wish to say, a BIG "Thank You" to President Muhammadu Buhari for finding time within his tight schedule to speak to Nigerians via Arise TV interview of Thursday 10 June, 2021.

In the same vein, I must commend whoever pulled this surprise package on and for Nigerians either within Arise TV establishment of those they know in the presidency. Many thanks.

To many, the interview meant nothing and was dry from the President's response to the questions but to me, it the interview brought huge relief to some extent.

Yours sincerely won't delve into or dwell on the things Mr. President said or what he didn't say or what he should have said and how best he would have said them.

My joy so to say is in the fact that Mr. President spoke to the people who voted him into power or office. Yes, he has been speaking to Nigerians before now sparingly but, we all know that on those few occasions, circumstances compelled him to do so.

In this very interview with Arise TV, he "voluntarily" spoke to the people through the chat. In fact, he has never been this relaxed or comported or composed when he spoke to or addressed Nigerians before...not even during national address.

Like I said, it is not about what he said but about the concern, the feeling of obligation, the sense of belonging given to the citizens and above all the fact that it was an interview granted to a private television station.

The words of Mr. President in that interview may not be totally assuring but to a large extent, he had the privilege of letting out his personal opinion on a few sensitive issues raised in the questions asked by the panel of interviewers.

He succeeded through the interview to show Nigerians how sound he was or is health-wise especially when probed by one of his interviewers.

He equally showed a clear sign of understanding and having a tight grasp of most of the issues raised in the questions he was asked.

In all this, Mr. President after the interview must be appreciating the fact that, it is good to periodically address the people he serves. Talking is far better than silence even if you must not talk all the time or respond to all issues.

But as a leader, you owe the public I mean those you serve the obligation or duty of explaining to them at every given point what's happening particularly at this times of insecurity and threat to the nation's unity. You should talk to them regularly to let them know your policy direction, plans and programs. Your talks will serve as a reassurance that indeed, you're truly and fully incharge and on top of every situation.

Like they say, it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. So let's keep talking Your Excellency. Let's always make it a robust discussion, dialogue, address or interview. Those interviewing you represent the entire population you serve.

Perhaps a monthly arrangement under this platform should be created for this purpose. You could select media top-guns like Ray Ekpu, John Momoh, Dele Momodu, Cyril Stober and Ruben Abati among others....or media houses like Arise TV, Channels TV, AIT, TVC, Radio Nigeria etc through your Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina for such interview which preferably should be conducted in the Villa.

Keeping yourself far from the people is not advisable if not dangerous. No leader succeeds by being an Island. When a leader takes the position of "Let them keep saying whatever they like...I will keep doing whatever I want." He or she must be prepared to hear and see what he or she doesn't want from the same people.

Hearing directly from the masses through your interviewers compliments hearing from your advisers and or Ministers if, not far better than hearing from the later alone.


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