Buhari, The Questionable Saint
In an interview Buhari granted to the Daily Sun (Sunday, 8 August 2010), Buhari predicted the outbreak of violence if the 2011 general elections were perceived to be far from free and fair. In the interview, Buhari was asked: “Do you fear for the country,that if we don't get it right now…?” The interviewer did not complete the question before Buhari interjected, saying: “There may be no Nigeria…, because I draw parallel with Somalia so many times. Somalia-sation of Nigeria; I am scared about that.”
In an interview granted to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) by Buba Galadima, the national secretary of the then CPC on Monday, 18 April 2011, Galadima used provocative language that was clearly intended to stir up the rioting crowd. The interview was broadcast during the peak of the riots.
When he was asked whether Buhari should rise to address his supporters so they could end the violence, Galadima turned polemical. He said the rioters were unknown to Buhari and the CPC, even though they chanted Buhari's name. He said neither Buhari nor the CPC was keen to talk to the rioters because to do so would convey the impression that the CPC leadership knew the perpetrators and therefore was involved in the violence. Galadima also said the rioters had every right to express anger in any way they wished if they felt their votes had been hijacked.
These where the words of Major General Buhari and his national secretary Buba Galadima before and in the wake of the 2011 post election crisis that claimed the lives of innocent corpers, who where serving their fatherland.
These are the names of the innocent corpers who lost their lives as a result of the selfish agitation incited by a so called progressive and elderstatesman all in the quest for power: Teidi Tosin Olawale (from Osun State, BSc Computer Science); Nkwazema Anslem Chukwunonyerem (Imo State, HND Electrical Electronic Engineering), Okpokiri Obinna Michael (Abia State, BSc Environmental Management), Adowei Elliot (Bayelsa State, BSc Computer Science) and Adewunmi Seun Paul (Ekiti State, BSc, Social Sciences).
Others are Adeniji Kehinde Jehleel (Osun State, BSc Banking & Finance), Gbenjo Ebenezer Ayotunde (Osun State, BSc, Education Economics), Ukeoma Ikechukwu Chibuzor (Imo State, BSc Medical Microbiology) and Akonyi Ibrahim Sule (Kogi State, HND Business Administration). Until today, GMB is yet to offer an appology to the families of these young Nigerians whose lives he cut short because of his selfish interest, rather he still repeated those same threats that stirred up the riot.
Speaking to supporters on May 14 in Kadunat, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) made several incendiary statements, calling the Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria “the biggest Boko Haram” and saying that presidential elections of 2015 must be free and fair, warning (as the press has translated it), “If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.” These statements caused considerable uproar in the Nigerian press and major controversy among the political class. (Some say that Buhari, who spoke in Hausa, was misquoted and misinterpreted. With these threats, one begins to wonder if he really has a human feeling or has his military orientation had turned him into a beast, who cares little or less about the lives of those he is campaigning to liberate from insurgency and “better their lives”. Having little or no remorse for the aftermath of his statement in 2011, which claimed the lives of these young Nigerians, what now is the difference between him and the boko haram sect, since the two believe that the only way to agitate for ones right is through the shedding of innocent blood.
Little wonder he shows a strong sense of pity for the blood thirsty sect when he said the Federal Government should stop the clampdown on Boko Haram insurgents, saying Niger Delta Militants were never killed or properties belonging to them destroyed.
Buhari who spoke on a Liberty Radio programme, Guest of the Week monitored said accused the government of killing and destroying houses belonging to Boko Haram members while the Niger Delta militants get special treatment.
The former dictator said that unlike the special treatment given to the Niger Delta militants by the federal government, the Boko Haram members were being killed and their houses demolished by government.
While accusing President Jonathan of failing from the beginning to address the security situation in the country, Buhari said he has never been in support of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa state.
According to Buhari “what is responsible for the security situation in the country is caused by the activities of Niger Delta militants. Every Nigerian that is familiar with what is happening knows this. The Niger Delta militants started it all.
“What happened is that the governors of the Niger Delta region at that time wanted to win their elections. So they recruited the youths and gave them guns and bullets and used them against their opponents to win elections by force.
“After the elections were over, they asked the boys to return the guns; the boys refused to return the guns. Because of that, the allowance that was being given to the youths by the governors during that time was stopped.
“The youths resorted to kidnapping oil workers and were collecting dollars as ransom. Now a boy of 18 to 20 years was getting about 500 dollars in a week, why will he go to school and spend 20 years to study and then come back and get employed by government to be paid N100,000 a month, that is if he is lucky to get employment.
“So kidnapping becomes very rampant in the South -South and the South -East. They kidnapped people and were collecting money.
“How did Boko Haram start? We know that their leader, Mohammed Yusuf started his militant and the police couldn't control them and the army was invited. He was arrested by soldiers and handed over to the police.
“The appropriate thing to do, according to the law, was for the police to carry out investigations and charge him to court for prosecution, but they killed him, his in-law was killed, they went and demolished their houses.
“Because of that, his supporters resorted to what they are doing today.
You see in the case of the Niger Delta militants, the late President Umaru Musa Yar'adua sent an aeroplane to bring them, he sat down with them and discussed with them, they were cajoled, and they were given money and granted amnesty.
“They were trained in some skills and were given employment, but the ones in the north were being killed and their houses were being demolished.
They are different issues, what brought this? It is injustice”.
These where the words of the General, sympathizing with the boko haram sect, and explaining their actions to Nigerians. Just after being given the presidential ticket of the APC, GMB has changed his tune on how insurgency could be tackled. In the words of his running mate, Prof. Osinbajo “Fighting insurgency requires the Commander in Chief to lead from the front by providing leadership,” he said.
Thousands of Nigerians have been killed by the insurgents who have also taken over some local governments in three north-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe in an insurgency seen by many as one of the inadequacies of Mr. Jonathan and his party, the PDP.
Mr. Osinbajo said unlike Mr. Jonathan and the PDP, Mr. Buhari and the APC will not politicize the security challenge.
“Instead of politicizing the issue, APC will galvanise all support and ensure that the threat to the territorial integrity of the country is put on check, and General Buhari will ensure that the entire nation is mobilized irrespective of party affiliation to solve the problem,” he said.
The don said the current administration is failing on the issue because instead of mobilizing all, it chose to blame the opposition.
“We will not be looking for the faults of the PDP or accuse them of sponsoring it as is presently the case, everyone knows that the opposition today is not responsible for the insurgency,” he said.
The Law Professor also said an APC government will equip the military well and provide all the necessary welfare needed to prosecute its operation.
“We have some of the best soldiers one can find anywhere,” he said; arguing that the Nigerian Military has the capability to “wipe out Boko Haram in days, all you need is to equip them well”.
Mr. Osinbajo added that APC would adequately fight poverty especially in the north-east as according to him, Boko Haram is using the prevalent high level of poverty as a steady pool to recruit members.
The question now is, does this mean GMB was trying to play down the effort of GEJ led administration when he initially said that fighting the insurgents was not the right way to tackle it, or is this a sign that he is confused, or better still, has forgotten what he said initially, which we can't blame him for, considering his age.
One cannot talk about GMB without mentioning his tribalistic and stunch Islamic orientation and belief. There is empirical evidence to attest that the major reason for Buhari's coup was to stop the emergence of an Igbo President in 1987.It is even pathetic that Buhari does not have the courage to own up the fact that he spearheaded a coup; he prefers to tell gullible listeners that he was drafted to be the Head of State by the plotters of the coup. This is an act of cowardice, hence the boys ignominiously kicked him out of office on the 27th day of August, 1985.As a hater of Ndigbo, while he maltreated the Igbo politicians who he detained after the 1983 coup, the deposed President Shagari was lodged in a Guest House, his deputy, DR Alex Ekwueme, was detained at KIrikiri Maximum prison. Shehu Shagari was later released while DR Alex Ekwueme and the others were detained for over a year in Kirikiri Maximum prison and the like.
He is a hater of the Yorubas: Even though Chief Obafemi Awolowo was not a member of the NPN, Buhari mobilized his boys to invade the residence of his house and rummaged/ ransacked it without finding any incriminating documents. As a military Head of State, Buhari did not hide his untrammeled apathy and contempt for the Igbo/ Yoruba nations as well as the fact that he is a Muslim bigot and fiend. How else will you rationalize the fact that while he released the toppled President, Shehu Shagari, from incarceration, he held the others, mostly from the southern part of Nigeria, in detention for about a year. So, what manner of justice is that?
Buhari is a Muslim bigot: Again, in order to satisfy his ego of a Muslim fundamentalist/maniac, Buhari chose another Muslim, Major-General Idiagbon , as his deputy thus forcing a Muslim/Muslim leadership on the country to the chagrin and discomfiture of the Christian population in Nigeria. He has on so many occasions, shown his support for the rule of sharia law, which is embedded in his agenda for Nigeria. He said he would scrap the office of the first lady if elected, which is not far from his Islamist belief that women are not to be given a chance in government, because they are irrelevant.
Above is a quote from an iman with twitter handle @imamsadiq, endorsing GMB as a sharia compliant aspirant, who would bring forth their long awaited reign of sharia in Nigeria. GMB who had initially thrown his weight behind sharia in the north has of recent dissociated himself from any Islamic agenda, just to secure the votes of the Christian race. In his desperation, he chose a pastor of the highly populated RCCG, as his running mate, over the likes of Tinubu, Fashola, Amechi and Okorocha, who were seen as more qualified and experienced for the job, all in the bid to win the sympathy of the Christian race, and also waterdown the speculations of his Islamic agenda.
Having gone back to the archives, to ascertain the achievements of GMB in his 20months in office as the as the Head of State from 1983 to 1985, these were the things i discovered.
About 500 politicians, officials and businessmen were jailed as part of a campaign against waste and corruption. Some saw this as the heavy-handed repression of military rule, but others remember it as a praiseworthy attempt to fight the endemic graft that prevented Nigeria's development, which i doubt would work in a democratic dispensation, because these people where not tried and convicted by any law court.
He retains a rare reputation for honesty among Nigeria's politicians, both military and civilian, largely because of this campaign.
As part of his “War Against Indiscipline”, he ordered Nigerians to form neat queues at bus stops, under the sharp eyes of whip-wielding soldiers.
Civil servants who were late for work were publicly humiliated by being forced to do frog jumps, these are attributes of a dictator, and so could not possibly work in a democratic dispensation. These attributes shows the brutality that runs in him.
He also introduced the notorious decree to restrict press freedom, under which two journalists were jailed. As military Head of State, Buhari did not hide his disgust for the Press and he did not waste time to keep the Fourth Estate under fetters and manacles. In spite of the fact that his military regime was welcomed by the Press, he wasted no time to manifest his pathological hatred for the Press. After barely three months as Military President, he imposed the controversial Decree 4 on the Press. The essence of the Decree was to gag and intimidate the Press to a toothless bulldog that could neither bark nor bite. In January 1984, he had told the now-rested National Concord newspaper that he did not trust journalists and vowed to checkmate the freedom of the Press. His main grouse was anchored on the reports of the press (especially the VERA IFUDU reports) on the missing $2.8-billion oil money. Shortly after this statement, Buhari introduced Decree 4 which gagged the Press . Under this Decree, two reporters, Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor, were both sent to jail in 1984. Decree 4 was patterned after the earlier laws of sedition and libel. According to Decree 4” Any person who publishes in any form whether written or otherwise any statement…..which is false in any material particular or which brings the federal government or the government of a state or a public officer to ridicule or disrespect shall be guilty of an offence under the decree…..” Above all, contravention of this Decree attracted imprisonment for a term of not exceeding 2 years with no option of fine. It was under this obnoxious Decree that the two editors of The Guardian newspaper were jailed for two years each. Again, in 1984, Buhari detained TAI SOLARIN for making speeches which were allegedly embarrassing to his government, even though TAI Solarin's comment were not as offensive as the kind of statements Buhari makes these days and yet he walks a free man in the streets of Nigeria. Buhari also enacted the obnoxious Decree 2 of 1983 .He arrested Tai Solarin for violating the obnoxious Decree.The Decree 2 of 1984 conferred on the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon,” the power to detain anyone for acts prejudicial to the state security…” Decree 2 of 1984 was originally enacted by the government of Muhammadu Buhari and signed into law on February 8th,1984 but backdated to December 31ST,1983-the day Buhari and his fellow dissidents seized power. The Ibrahim Babangida administration which sacked Buhari,' regime on August 27th 1985 adopted Buhari's Decree 2 of 1983 , but amended it to Decree No 12 of1985 to vest the power of detention previously vested on the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters in either the Chief of General Staff(CGS) or the Inspector General of Police(IGP). These show his anti democratic tendencies which are inherent in him.
However, his attempts to re-balance public finances by curbing imports led to many job losses and the closure of businesses.
As part of anti-corruption measures, he also ordered that the currency be replaced – the colour of the naira notes were changed – forcing all holders of old notes to exchange them at banks within a limited period.
Prices rose while living standards fell, leading to a palace coup by Gen Ibrahim Babangida on 27 August 1985. Mr Buhari was imprisoned for 40 months.
Mr Babangida wanted to speed up the restoration of civilian rule, which Mr Buhari did not see as a priority. After all these findings, I keep wondering what makes some people sing his praise, because i am yet to see a project or a major milestone reached by his administration in the past, even with absolute power at his disposal. So if these are the changes he wants to bring to Nigeria, then we rather not have that negative change.
.By Julius Tagna
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