A Nigerian journalist, Eniola Akinkuotu, has adduced a reason why President Muhammadu Buhari may shy away from the 2019 presidential debate as he did in the build-up to 2015.
Akinkuotu, a reporter with The Punch, made this known in a Facebook post in reaction to the controversial #LazyNigerianYouth comment Buhari made in London last week.
He claimed that Buhari’s oratorical deficiency was responsible for the gaffes the president has committed on some of his foreign trips abroad, including the latest #LazyNigerianYouth, and may cause the president not to honour requests to debate his opponents in the 2019 polls.
Akinkuotu said, “Many have said President Buhari usually speaks more when he is outside of the country. The reason is not far-fetched. Whenever he is in Nigeria, he reads from a prepared speech or journalists are barred from the event and his media team then send out a statement embellished with finesse. It was the same prior to the elections when he spoke less than three minutes at each rally and shunned the Presidential debate. After taking power, the President has had only one media chat with Nigerians which was in late 2015. The rest have been national addresses like the one he did in Hausa language to wish Nigerian Muslims Barka Da Sallah from his sick bed in London last year. However, the case is different when Buhari travels abroad. He is left vulnerable like a demystified masquerade because his media aides and security detail cannot protect him from journalists especially in advanced counties where free press is practised. That is why it was in Germany that Buhari told us that his wife belongs to the kitchen and bedroom. That was why it was in Germany that Buhari revealed to us that West Germany was still in existence. It was in Benin Republic that our President told Nigerians in the Diaspora not to “come back home in order not to add to our problems in Nigeria which has a high unemployment rate”. That was why it was in London that Buhari implied that a lot of Nigerian youths are lazy and want free healthcare unmindful of the irony inherent when less than a year ago he abandoned his own country to receive healthcare in the UK with free oil money. Buhari understands his oratory deficiency and that is why in the history of Nigeria, he is the President with the highest number of media aides/spokesmen (over 6). But when they travel abroad and he has to speak from the heart, he is left exposed and that is why next year, Buhari will most likely not participate in the 2019 Presidential debate.Have you ever wondered why Vice-President Yemi Oisnbajo (SAN), a professor of law and a great debater is hardly ever misunderstood while his boss is always the one getting into trouble?”