President Buhari’s tenure as a military dictator in the 1980’s was characterised by forced kidnappings and illegal arrests. Those acts have found their way into his current dispensation as a democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The only difference now is that instead of using the military junta as pawns in his feuds with perceived detractors, he is using the DSS.
President Buhari has shown several times that he can’t withstand criticism, and while he might not publicly condemn his detractors, you can almost always depend on some form of unsanctioned retaliation from the Department of State Security. There has been a significant rise in illegal DSS sanctioned political arrests since 2015.
The detention of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky for about two years now still remains a mystery as the Senior Islamic Cleric and leader of the Shi’ites sect in Nigeria has been denied his freedom despite several court judgement ordering his release.
The conclusion among majority of opinion moulders is that El-Zakzaky is being persecuted because he is a Shi’ite Muslim while Buhari is a Sunni Muslim. However, the attempted arrest of the Senior Pastor of the El-Buba outreach Ministry, Prophet Isa El-Buba a religious figure that recently criticised President Buhari’s handling of the Fulani herdsmen attacks by officers of the Department of State Security Services has showed that the administration of President Buhari has taken his hatred for criticism to another height which is nothing other than abuse of office.
The Federal government failed to realise that every Nigerian has a freedom of expression which can only be challenged in a court of law not by arbitrary arrest, the human right records of this administration is one of the worse in recent times especially as it relates to officers of the DSS that are acting outside the purview of their constitutional responsibilities.
The ongoing abuse of office by the Federal Government of Nigeria has to stop. This is a democratic government which must see to uphold the tenets of democracy.