Finally, Nigeria can go back to the delightful ambiance it used to have now that Nigerians are aware that the president is alive and doing well.
Now that the rumours about the death of President Buhari has been doused, there are certain things you need to know about the role played by the FG. The drama acted by the federal government played on for too long that Nigerians did not know what to believe in again.
There were things they could have done to elucidate the true state of affairs in the country, instead, they allowed Nigerians to hold on to their opinions even when they knew it destabilized many concerned people.
Without being sentimental, the government knows the kind of people they are dealing with and should have preempted that Nigerians will react the way they did when the President Buhari extended his leave without making any appearance.
It is preposterous to think that the FG let this unnecessary drama play for too long even when they knew the subject of the matter was someone Nigerians care deeply about.
It is pathetic to know that it is only in this nation that a rumour as serious as that of the death of the president would be allowed to circulate without the FG being undaunted by it.
Find below some of the ways the FG fuelled the death rumour spread about President Buhari:
1. Buhari left before the stated date for the leave
The senate received an official letter stating that the president would be going on leave. The same day the letter was read by the senate president, President Buhari left the country.
The president's departure from the country aroused suspicions as Nigerians thought there was an emergency and the president needed urgent medical attention. What did the FG do to quell the doubts rising in the minds of many Nigerians? Nothing.
2. The FG failed to communicate with the people
It is appalling to think that the FG acted funnily when Nigerians started to ask questions about the whereabouts and health status of the president.
If they had any information about him at all, they did not share. In a normal functioning government system, there should be communication between the government and the people.
What happened to having press release and making Nigerians see the president in a live video so that they can allay their fears?
3. Lack of coordination
The fake news of the death of the president was launched by some poor imitators of Metro newspaper of the United Kingdom and Huffington Post of the United States.
When this news hit Nigerians, many people felt they would get some form of reassurance from the government but all they got was insufficient information from the media advisers of the president.
Nigerians wanted more but the government failed to deliver. They claimed all was well with the president yet, Nigerians were being asked to pray for him concerning his health.
4. The role played by the minister of information
The way government officials go about their duties is questionable. Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture addressed Nigerians at some point telling them the president was well.
He also talked about it being normal for President Buhari to receive medical attention while on leave. His address did not make Nigerians any better as they wanted to see proof. Lai Mohammed revealed that anyone caught in connection to the rumours will be arrested and dealt with.
Has the government been able to make any arrest ever since then? Will anyone be willing to take the government of this nation serious if a scheme like this could be pulled off?
5. The pictures of the president did not help matters
The government amidst the tensions at home should know that something bigger and better than photos will douse the burning flames of anxiety in many Nigerians. The president extended his leave indefinitely and did not bother to have an interview or be shown live on TV?
Are Nigerians who are tech savvy supposed to believe in pictures that could have been machinated? The reception the photos got is evident with the wide array of thoughts and opinions passed over it.
First, it was the sitting position of the president that was questioned. Then the supposed dinner he had with Ogun state governor. The sensitive matter degenerated to a joke when a picture of the president emerged with Tuface sitting with him. How bad can things be?
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6. Allowing the speculations to spread
Would it not have been better if the FG made the health status of the president known instead of allowing the people to speculate? A good government has to be able to manage crises when they surface.
The role the government played with this death rumour spread about the president will only tamper with the confidence Nigerians have in it. Nigerians deserve a better treatment than what they got from the government in the past few days.
Despite this, Nigerians love President Buhari and wish him well. Check the video below to see how pro-Buhari protesters celebrated Valentine: