For political watchers in Nigeria, it is common knowledge that President Muhammadu Buhari has been described by aides and party chieftains as operating a leadership style that makes him avoid interviews, urgent national broadcasts and effective communication ultimately.
Due to this rigid position on issues, he’s largely been absent in person or unheard of amidst burning political developments; prompting questions on his health status, capacity to lead and actual location. This perception has been further worsened in recent times with a new culture of press statements and tweets issued by media aides which in most cases, made simple issues complex and provoked outrage.
It is in light of these, that the much-anticipated Exclusive interview with Arise News garnered huge attention from Nigerians who waited impatiently for the session and have been reacting to the answers provided.
Here are 4 things we noted from the interview:
- On IPOB and the South East
“That IPOB is just like a dot in the circle. Even if they want to exit, they will have no access to anywhere. And the way they are spread all over the country. Having business, having property. I think IPOB doesn’t know what they are talking about.”
“In any case, we said we will talk to them in a language they understand. We’d organise the police and military to pursue them. That what’s we can do and we will do it.”
2. South East Inclusion
“You look at say, NNPC. Look at and the Military, People who have been there for there for 18 years or people who have been there, or for 10 years. They train in Zaria or in Abeokuta. They come through the ranks and because they served under all the circumstances. The crises and everything and they gradually rise to their status. And you think you just pick somebody just to balance up? These positions have to be earned.”
“There are people who have been there, for 10-15 years, and just because somebody will say…Oh, there’s nobody. If you don’t [want to] join, you are not forced to join. But when you join, you go through the rigmarole, you go through the problem throughout and you learn by the system.”
3. Operational experience was consideration in appointing Army Chief not Seniority or place of nativity
“Do you know where he was serving before he became the Chief of Army Staff. Maiduguri. Where? OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE. You can’t just put somebody because he is wearing seniority and make him.”
“You put somebody who has been in the mill. Who has suffered with the soldiers. They know him, he fought with them and so on. To tell you the truth…All these chaps know me. I have forgotten them, some of them I don’t know them.”
It is because the soldiers to be effectively led. must be somebody they are known to, and they expose themselves to him.“
4. “People from the South East know they have to go through the mill“
“You better get [the] list of our civil servants. If you feel there are no people from the South East, there are people from the South East, but they know they have to go through the mill.”
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Journalist, Political Analyst and Satirist with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.