Prominent groups and Nigerians from different walks of life, on Sunday, took a swipe at the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), over Friday’s abduction of students of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State.
Most of those who reacted said Buhari had failed and said they were shocked that the President had not visited the school despite the fact that he is in Katsina State on a weeklong vacation.
Those, who commented on the abduction of the students and Buhari’s inaction, included the Coalition of Northern Groups; the Middle Belt Forum; the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin; the Pan Niger Delta Forum; and the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Also, on Sunday, several Nigerians took to the social media to lambast the President for failing to visit the school.
However, the Presidency, through the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said its focus was how to quickly resolve the issue thrown up by the abduction of the students, and not politics.
Shehu said this in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, who sought to know from him when Buhari was planning to visit the school.
In responding, the presidential aide said, “As I speak to you, the Minister of Defence and the nation’s service chiefs just left the place.”
When told that Nigerians were already faulting the President for sending a delegation, while he is currently in the state, Shehu said, “Our focus is about resolving the issue. Leave us out of politics.”
Buhari criticised for failing to visit school
Several Nigerians took to the social media to criticise the President for failing to visit the school and wondered why he would ask the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to travel to Katsina State from Abuja, when he (Buhari) was currently in the same state on vacation.
One @SodiqTade tweeted, “My problem right now is Buhari sending delegates to Katsina from Abuja while he is currently in the same state. It takes minutes to get to the school but no let’s waste resources.
“Those who asked Goodluck Jonathan to travel miles from Kano down to the incident site in Borno on same day are now making ‘long distance’ excuse for Buhari. Even though the incident site is Katsina and Buhari is in the same Katsina. They said 150 minutes road journey is much for him.”
@EhiOziegbe tweeted, “Buhari should resign if he is not well. How can he be in Katsina and a delegation is going there? There is something that is not adding up with all the nonsense happening in the North.”
Similarly, one @Boufdadi tweeted, “Where is Buhari? Why isn’t he showing his face? Why can’t he go and commiserate with the parents of the abducted children? There are things we are not being told. Time will tell us these things.”
Another tweep, @maojawo, described the visit by the delegation as a waste of public resources.
“Wastage seems to be the only thing this government know how to do. Buhari in Katsina cannot pay condolence to the people, he sent people from Abuja to do it for him. The time, energy, and resources for it are wasted,” he tweeted.
“Is the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria not in Katsina State? Only God knows how much fund will go down into this visit,” @aladeniyi_ asked.
In his contribution, @DanielBalogun wondered why Buhari could not cut short his vacation to visit the school and commiserate with families of the victims.
“This does not add up. Ordinarily, the sitting President will cut short his private visit to attend to issue in his state. He should be seen with Masari to find the 333/600 students remaining. Another lesser delegation? Really? Is Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo also incapacitated?” he tweeted.