On Sunday, 25th of June, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, released an audio message to the Nigerian public from London where he has been on a medical check up for the last 50 days. The president’s address, which was to wish Nigerians especially those of the Muslim faith a happy Eid-El-Fitr, was undoubtedly intended to dispel any rumors that Buhari was suffering from a speech impediment.
The address backfired in dramatic fashion as it caused outrage across the country for one simple reason, it was done in Hausa. Although the language is one of the prominent Nigerian languages, it is only spoken by around 30 percent of Nigeria’s population. This address stirred up two other social issues, one being that the Head of State might be subconsciously ethnically-motivated in his affairs, and the other being the blatant sidelining of other Muslims who are not from the Hausa-speaking parts of Nigeria.
Many outraged Nigerians took to Twitter to express their views, with Hausa trending on Nigerian twitter since the audio clip was made public on Sunday.
Here are some of the best reactions from Nigerians:
— IG : @phemmygram (@phemmytweetzz) June 27, 2017
Speaking in Hausa is a sign of chronic dementia though and the sound of his voice calls for him to honourably step down like a hero.
— Mr LIMESTONE (@oghenesegun) June 27, 2017
@YourViewTVC when did Hausa language became Nigeria official language?! That messages is for the Hausa's, not for Nigerians
— dbrand (@dbranddavis) June 27, 2017
Buhari addressing all Nigerians in Hausa. Like the hardship in Nigeria is not enough we now have to pay interpreters to hear our president pic.twitter.com/ef023ne0OJ
— BILLION (@BillionTwiTs) June 26, 2017
President Buhari is the President of all Nigeria. He is not the President of only those who can speak/understand Hausa! This is an outrage!!
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) June 25, 2017
is Hausa the official language in Nigeria? What about the Muslims that don't speak Hausa? Buhari is the biggest threat to national unity.
— A.I.E💯 (@amen_i_e) June 25, 2017
Listening to Buhari's message in Hausa, and wondering if there was no adviser to tell him he's president of Nigeria not Governor of Kano. pic.twitter.com/4264G4iKIz
— Umeh and 99 others (@UmehOMA) June 25, 2017
UK based Nigeria president addresses his country of about 521 languages in Hausa; a section language & he was talking about unity.
— Made In Ibadan (@UrbanCulture06) June 26, 2017
So I guess Nigerians should start learning Hausa since we are now getting addressed as a Nation in Hausa language.
— Ebuka Akara (@ebuka_akara) June 26, 2017
With his official Eid speech in Hausa yesterday, Buhari has confirmed his Northernisation agenda is real.
— Mr. Jack Robinson (@jackdre02) June 26, 2017