The president Muhammadu Buhari led government is alleged to have secretly adopted Hausa, a language predominantly spoken by the vast majority of northerners, where the president also hails from as official lingua franca for the country.
In a video circulating online, the attorney general of the federation Abubakar Malami, a Muslim from the Hausa/Fulani stock flanked by the Inspector General of the police Usman Alkali Baba, another Muslim and a fluent speaker of the language on his right and another state official in a mask on his left, is heard narrating in the Hausa language how Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was arrested in a foreign land and whisked away to Nigeria for prosecution on pending charges he had earlier jumped bail for.
It’s not yet clear if the decision to hold a press conference in Hausa was an order from the presidency or the sole decision of the Justice minister.
It could be recalled that, during the calls for the resignation of the Minister of Communication Mallam Isa Ali Pantami, over his sympathetic comments for the Talibans, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, a popular freelance journalist David Hundeyin alleged that the ministry was conducting official media related business through an Islamic/Hausa Twitter account belonging to a mosque.
Nigeria, a country often dubbed the giant of Africa is known to have 3 major languages: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
There have being growing calls for the president to reflect the federal character principle in making appointments and in the conduct of government business, as the current situation is said to be heavily lopsided, favouring the president’s ethnic and religious stock.