“Blackmailed into silence, Nigerians watched as the traditional foundations of the state were eroded. Ethnicity became the principle of state policy. The economy sputtered along. Educational policy was in a shambles. Our hospitals became graveyards. And all along we were invited to believe, as an article of patriotic faith, that we lived in the best of all possible worlds.” – Culled from the Guardian Editorial of Aug 30, 1985

This is the real reason why I will NEVER vote for General Buhari. He wants to sow where he did not reap. In fact, he must never be allowed to reap where he do any damn thing except destroy it.

He muscled and blackmailed Nigerians into silence! Nigerians became scared of speaking in public. Whether it be motor parks or hospitals. Media houses slept with their two eyes open. Those who were privileged to own telephone lines became too suddenly afraid of a certain midnight or early hour call. Sometimes it was just friends telling you to be careful and watch your movements that week. Sometimes, they even drive to your place at late hours to finish the other side of the story which they could not tell on the phone.

Many Nigerians died in prison cells and small detention centers that we will never know or hear about. Those were the real unlucky Nigerians who did not have anyone to speak OR speak up for them. They are not as lucky as us who have this mighty power of the internet right from our mobile phones, ipads, other tablets etc! Such people could kill to be in the Nigeria we enjoy me because with one flash, they will reveal to the internet that they were arrested for crimes as silly as greeting or looking at the wife of a military officer or shouting at their kids…or refusing to wait for an officers wife to drive past before you moved.

They say President Jonathan is not fighting corruption BUT I have come to see that the biggest weapon for the fight against corruption, as with many other vices, is a free media!…No President in the history of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has enlivened the media as President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has done.

Many Nigerians have suddenly come to forget that the same weapon that Buhari took from them and thus weakened the national resolve to fight corruption is that that President Goodluck Jonathan [1] has made so possible for Nigerians. The right to talk and write anyhow and get away with it?……

Even the very democratic space that General Buhari is enjoying now is something that he should never be part of. He did not just truncate a fledgling democracy, he disposed it! He had no plans whatsoever to bring it back. That costs us years with which we have built a better and stronger democracy today and thus reduce all the wastage, bureaucracy and failures that democracy comes with. He stole time from us. Time we would have used to ensure we learn how best to provide government for the people by the people and for the people.

Now, even while we are at the heat of learning, he has come again. And some are even considering him. How we forget.

62 year old Tai Solarin was one of the first to welcome the Buhari government. He held one man protests against the Shagari's government. The soldiers toppled Shagari not long after. When he tried to repeat the condemnations against the state like he did in Shagari's time as President, he was tossed into jail for more than one year.

Beko Ransome-Kuti had a feel of that madness. Beko was released from jail while Fela was still serving his five-year term. Jail term began to almost sound like breakfast in many homes. What even made it terrifying was that it was not corrupt politicians that were being hammered with each passing minute. It was leaders of human rights groups and activists from across the board in community and national advocacy. They were the ones being tossed into filthy tiny police cells and were kept there for months. The lucky ones were tossed into maximum security prisons with bigger space and a little more food. That was what Nigeria became at the height of the Buhari regime.

And today they tell me this man wants to be President again? And we dey even listen? Seriously?

Written by George Kerley.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."