Updated: March 5, 2021
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress Adams Oshiomhole released a short clip on Tuesday singing “we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year”.
Everything was going according to plans when President Buhari derailed a little bit, missing the third line before quickly recovering, after being rescued by Vice President Pastor Osinbajo and former activist Oshiomhole.
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Mr Buhari was already saying “and a happy new year” line while others were still repeating for the third time “we wish you a merry Christmas” line.
The miss was, however, not noticed by many people.
“At Christmas we reflect on the humble, symbolic and divine birth of a young child thousands of years ago in Bethlehem, Judea; and the message of hope, compassion, salvation, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace that Jesus Christ embodies and conveys. Merry Christmas to All!,” Mr Buhari tweeted.
Why it matters: Mr Buhari, a Muslim, is not used to singing Christmas songs, but with a perilous presidential election in February, he’s trying to appeal to a broader Nigerian audience, especially because at least 90 million Nigerians describe themselves as Christians.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who is fighting hard to dislodge Mr Buhari, has described his presidency as a failure.
He too was entangled in a phone controversy on Monday when he made a call to relative of a soldier gunned down by Boko Haram but claimed he spoke to the deceased’s wife.
The wife quickly reacted, saying she did not speak with the presidential candidate.
Moments after, Atiku apologized, saying he got the wrong number and spoke to someone he thought was the deceased’s wife.
Nigerians go to the polls from February for the presidential election that would be followed by parliamentary elections. Many expect Mr Buhari to be defeated in the central, southern and eastern Nigeria.