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COVID-19: Why Nyesom Wike should refrain from his Idi Amin penchant


Sir: For the sake of some of us who have not heard about Idi Amin, I will brief us who he was. Idi Amin Dada Oumee was a Ugandan military officer who served as the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. During his reign as the President of Uganda, he was ruthless, merciless, in fact, he was deemed to be one of the cruelest presidents in the world history. He ruled Uganda as if he owned the next seconds of his life. His rule entertained political repression, rampant human rights abuses, ethnic persecution, corruption, nepotism, gross economic mismanagement etc.

Idi Amin carried out tonnes of legal decisions on his own. He barely took his offenders to the Uganda courts. No matter how big or modicum his offender offence was, he had a stool of judgment within his compound. He was the judge to almost all the cases that had to do with him. He judged his offenders as his mood dictated. And afflicted the people who condemned his inhuman dispositions. Some international observers and human rights group estimated that between 100,000 and 500,000 people were killed while he was the President of Uganda. No doubt, his inhuman idiosyncrasy was the reason why he fled Uganda to an exile. 

With the look of things, the Rivers State Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, with his lately demolition of hotels and auctioning of vehicles for flouting his lockdown order is a pointer that Wike has some idiosyncrasy of Idi Amin in him. Aside the demolished hotels and auctioned vehicles, he had approached some social issues awkwardly in recent past. Is it how he insulted a traditional ruler? Or how he arrested Calverton helicopter pilots? And many more. I think it’s high time we should tell Wike that we are no more in the military era. And that his Idi Amin penchant can’t work in a democratic environ.

We’ve seen how people who flouted the lockdown order in others states were dealt with. The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, sealed a mosque for flouting his lockdown order. Some states governments temporarily seized vehicles that flouted the lockdown order. These are mien that works in a democratic system. If you think your lockdown order is violated by a mosque, church or hotel, seal up the mosque, church or hotel temporarily. The demolition of hotels and the auctioning of vehicles who flouted the lockdown order by Wike are not only inhuman but an abuse of power and overstepping of constitutional bounds.

Wike should at this point note that power is transient and that it is only the uncreated creator of the universe who has the ingredients to rule forever. May I ask Wike where the yesteryear leaders are? If they could leave the seats of power for people like Wike, why won’t he leave the stool of power someday. Wike, POWER is TRANSIENT!
• Aremu Lukman Umor is a sociologist and writer. 

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Ezenwo Nyesom Wike
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