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Is Buhari returning Nigeria to 1983?

By Abisola Olasupo
13 December 2019   |   4:11 am
Nigerians woke up to the bold editorial by The Punch today stating it will henceforth address Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari with his military rank as a dictator in the 80s.

Nigerians woke up to the bold editorial by The Punch today stating it will henceforth address Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari with his military rank as a dictator in the 80s.

The president has come under scrutiny for his violations against the rule of law on different occasions, reminiscent of his actions as head of state between 1983 and 1985.

Buhari jailed journalists like Ndukar Irabor and Tunde Thompson of The Guardian for their factual stories.

He also jailed a number of politicians when he overthrew the democratically-elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. He also promulgated draconian decrees that ensured citizens accused of different crimes were jailed or killed.

Since coming to power as a civilian president through the ballot in 2015, he has recorded some violations which have raised the red flag over his credentials as a democrat. These violations include disregard of court orders, trampling on the constitutional rights of citizens and undermining the power of the judiciary.

Relationship with the media
Buhari seems to have a disdain for the media as he has only granted one media chat since he was elected and re-elected in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

Statement to NBA conference
Buhari in his keynote address at the 58th annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in 2018 shocked the nation when he said that national security must supersede the rule of law.

Raid on judges homes
Under the Buhari’s administration, the homes of top judges were raided by the DSS under the guise that they were corrupt.

DSS attack on the 8th National Assembly
On August 7, 2018, DSS operatives laid siege to the gates of the nation’s National Assembly over an alleged attempt to impeach the former leader of the country’s national assembly.

Hate speech/social media bill
In subtle support, the Presidency through loyalists in the National Assembly is pushing for the Hate Speech and Social Media bill to shut out criticism from citizens.

Detention of Dasuki, el-Zakzakky and Sowore
The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim el-Zakzakky and his wife, former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters have been kept in detention despite court orders granting them bail.

Is President Buhari bringing back the autocratic style he used to rule as a military General in 1983 to govern in a democratic era?