Just as it was celebrated elsewhere around the world on Tuesday December 25, christmas was celebrated in Nigeria. But first, Nigerians received a surprise from their leaders. President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice Yemi Osinbajo alongside Adams Oshiomhole, the leader of their ruling All Progressives Congress, emerged in a video singing a christmas song to wish Nigerians a merry christmas.
Now you would think this was not such a big deal, but it is. Buhari, a Muslim is contesting for re-election in elections scheduled for February 2019.
Critics were quick to read ulterior motives to his rendition of the “we wish you a merry christmas song” in the video, with many suggesting Mr. Buhari was attempting a desperate move to salvage his plummeting popularity especially amongst people in the majorly Christian south of Nigeria.
Mr Buhari is constantly been faced with the need to prove that he is not religiously intolerant or fanatical as portrayed in some quarters and allegedly in his ethno-religiously imbalanced cabinet and political appointments.
In one of the many reactions to the christmas video, Mr Buhari’s avowed critic, Reno Omokri wrote in a tweet- “Muhammadu Buhari believes in Christmas so much that he did not sing Christmas songs in 2015. He did not sing Christmas songs in 2016. He did not sing Christmas songs in 2017. But as elections are here, Buhari became a born again Christian and sang a Christmas Song in 2018 #RenosDarts”.
In his christmas message, the Nigerian president wished Nigerians a prosperous new year and promised that his administration would deliver a free and fair election next year.