The Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari have never allowed or endured protests or dissidents. That’s why during the 2nd Republic during his first term in the 1980s. As the head of state, he issued Decree Number 4, which was a means to silence reports and journalists from writing articles that could embarrass any government official. Therefore, his ill will for the freedom of speech is embedded with this man.
A man who ran through the ranks of the Military. Was the leader for of the Supreme Military Council for 20 months in 1980s. Where he suspended the constitution and has later returned twice to office. For some reason people in these times of 2015 and 2019 thought this man would change.
President Buhari doesn’t value freedom of speech, liberty or anything of that sort. That is just words used as flamboyant pointers to donors and the international community. However, this man had no trouble arresting and detaining the Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. He was arrested by the authorities for a song. His arrested happened in September 1984, but he was later released in April 1986. That meant he was also kept in prison under the regime of the Gen. Babangida from August 1985 until April 1986 before his release. Fela Kut was detained for 18 months and most of that time while Buhari was the Head of State.
Still, Buhari was willing to arrest not only activists, opposition leader, stop unions for existing and so fourth. He was also willing to arrest vocal international artists speaking up against his will in the 1980s.
We are now in 2021. He is continuing his path of teargassing and assaulting people for going to the streets and demonstrating. The state is answering the pleas of the public with violence. Just like the army killed civilians at Lekki Toll Bridge. There is still fatalities from the protests and it’s directly happening because of the way the state answers to the civil disobedience.
Burhari cannot handle that the people doesn’t accept his words. He expect people to love his words and abide by them. I am still sure he just see that as “indiscipline” which he wasn’t able to fight decades ago.
What we can see from his first stint in power. Is that he continues this brash unappologizing acts of police brutality and lack of understanding of role as the Head of State. He should guard these values and allow the sentiment of disdain run on the streets. So, that their voices are head and taken into account. Not come with force and stop them preaching. When he already ordered to silence Twitter over a deleted tweet. It says more about his Presidency, than about the people who went on the streets fighting for their rights.
President Buhari needs to get his mind right. Unless, he thinks his an overlord or an emperor of ancient times. A man who thinks he has the rights to order police brutality on civilians, which easily can turn fatal. Something it usually does and it’s tragic for every single civilian dying in the hands of the authorities and only for going onto the streets to fight for a just cause.
The Nigerian President should know better. If he doesn’t remember the outrage over the arrest and the charges put on Fela Kuti. He should remember last years #ENDSARS demonstrations last year.
I’ll end with the wise words of Ikhide R.Ikheloa who wrote this on the 1st April 2015:
“No one fools me, I will continue to push the conversation about what is appropriate in terms of governance. Democracy without accountability is killing Nigeria and Nigerians. We have spent dozens of billions of Naira to race past broken schools, broken hospitals and broken roads to execute a shoddy election and install the illusion of change. We have just traded ravenous locusts for starving termites. We will be miserable for the next four years as we continue to endure an unsustainable democracy. This democracy is an unsustainable farce and we all know it. If we are not careful it will be the end of our nation as we know it. The PDP needs to go, the APC needs to go, they are collectively responsible for our mess and I am not excusing one bunch of thieves and incompetents from blame” (Pa Ikhide – ‘What I wrote: On Buhari’s election, 2015’ 01.04.2018).
People should have seen this coming, but the General fooled plenty. He has shown his colours and people shouldn’t accept it. Nobody deserves to be ruled by someone who doesn’t show them respect. His only there as a represent of the people. Buhari isn’t there because of his birthright or his entitled to be there. No, his there, because his supposed to serve the public who dissent on the streets. That’s his people and he got no right to harm them. Peace.