Afrobeat scion Seun Kuti has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s address to the country in response to widespread civil unrest as a speech meant for the international community, not for Nigerians.
The President had on Thursday evening delivered a broadcast where he talked about the chaos and violence that erupted following the #EndSARS movement, but did not specifically condemn the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki tollgate by yet to be identified security personnel.
“For me the speech the President made a couple of nights ago was not for the Nigerian people. The speech was to the international community mainly and his supporters,” he said in an Arise TV interview.
“What he basically said is ‘these people are only protesting against me because I am me. There’s nothing wrong with Nigeria. They just don’t like me, and I don’t know why the people don’t like me. See everything I’ve done for them: I give them Trader Moni, Farmers Moni. I give them this money, I give them that one. I give them this, they don’t like me, and I don’t know what to do.’”
Kuti criticized the pretentious naivety expressed by the political and business elites concerning the sufferings in the country.
“They are a class of people who have weaponized poverty against their own people, who use poverty as a tool. As we are seeing right now, there are warehouses full of food while people are hungry in this country. This is the same people that are saying they are giving us Trader Moni, Farmers Moni.”
Kuti argued that the Nigerian people are not beggars but citizens who are bent on reclaiming their citizenship and seek equal rights and access to the commonwealth.
“We are citizens of this country. This is not a company. The political elites of Nigeria, they think this is a company, but this is not a company. This is a country and we the people of this country will make them understand that we are not employees, we are citizens.
“President Buhari’s speech does not project the fact that he’s speaking to citizens, he was talking like a man speaking to his employees,” he noted.