The President, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has come under a renewed attack on social media for refusing to address Nigerians on the COVID-19 pandemic.Buhari had refused to speak on thematter unlike his counterparts in many other countries battling the virus.The Senate had last week asked the president to address Nigerians,The PUNCHreports.The PUNCHreports that the Presidency bowed to pressure on Thursday with one of the President’s spokesmen, Garba Shehu, issuing a statement advising Nigerians to observe personal hygiene.Shehu also lambasted the Senate for asking the President to do a television broadcast, describing it as cheap politics.
On Friday, the President, through his official Twitter handle, sent out a message of encouragement to Nigerians.He tweeted, “Protecting Nigerians from the coronavirus is a key priority for us as a government. Wehave the Ministry of Health and theNigeria Center for Disease Control working round-the-clock with several other agencies, as well as state governments, to ensure this.“I have absolute confidence in the relevant ministers in the cabinet, the Presidential Task Force on coronavirus which I recently established, and the officials of theNCDC who are all providing constant updates and professionalcounsel.”However, the tweets were met withcynicism and criticism.The critics stated that a television broadcast would send a better message than tweets which are directed at the President’s two million followers.Responding to one of the President’s tweets, a former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Prof.
Chidi Odinkalu, wrote, “Faceless ghosts hide behind hand-held and credit someone else with words.“They forget that, actually, communication has DNA. It’s easy to know this is not from @MBuhari. It’s not his syntax or sentence DNA.
It’s not difficult to figure out who wrote this, is it?”“You have only 2.6m followers on Twitter. Go on-air and speak to your 180million citizens,” @KingCossy1 [email protected] also tweeted, “Buhari, if there wasn’t social media, wouldn’t you communicate with the people you govern? I see no reason for tweeting instead of a live broadcast.
”See tweets:I have absolute confidence in the relevant Ministers in the cabinet, the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus which I recently established,and the officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), who are all providing constant updates and professional counsel.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari)March 20, 2020
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