by Simon Utsu
Buhari erred (something to which he openly admitted in Chatham) and I think he should be man enough to face the punishment for his countless misdemeanors.
I just read the transcript of Buhari’s speech at Chatham house and I must confess, he sounded like a democrat. I wont be quick to conclude if it was a speech he wrote himself or Garba Shehu wrote for him but it was deep and statesmanlike. What touched me the most was when he said his era as a military dictator shouldn’t be used to judge him as his actions then were based on what is obtainable in a junta anywhere in the world. I doff my hat to the General. But if we are to leave sentiments aside, we will all agree that a man must be held responsible for his actions or in-actions.
Thomas Sankara was a military ruler in the 80’s who liberated Burkina Faso from the shackles of western imperialism. He was a democrat at heart and was loved all over Africa. If you browse through the history of his regime, you would find little traces of dictatorship. Even Muhmar Gaddafi who led Libya as a military President opened Libya up; doing a great job to develop Libya by implementing social and capitalist reforms which put Libya and Libyans at par with the more developed countries.
Chile’s maximum ruler, Augusto Pinochet on the other hand, like Buhari committed countless atrocities against his people as a despotic ruler. As an octogenarian, he was brought out of retirement to face the wrath of the law. He was sent to jail, a move which led to his health deteriorating and even his death.
The truth is, you have to reap what you sow, it’s only a matter of time. Buhari’s era as Nigeria’s head of state was plagued with countless human right crimes, ranging from the implementation of weird decrees to gag the media to other ones that doled out severe punishments for minimum crimes. There was nothing like leniency during his era, pregnant and disabled drug peddlers met their deaths under him, even after appeals and demonstrations from civil rights groups.
Even the criminals and suspected criminals who sought refuge overseas weren’t spared. In one occasion, an Umaru Dikko who was a strong critic of his government sought asylum in the UK. Buhari’s government attempted to kidnap him and ship him in a box back to Nigeria citing charges which were more or less trumped up. This level of human rights abuse was unprecedented and wasn’t even obtainable under the apartheid regime in South Africa. Nigeria became a black sheep in diplomatic circles. Our economy was stagnating by the day. Buhari’s regime in comparison comes a close second to Abacha’s in lows when you look at economic performance, human rights abuse and international relations.
As humans, we should learn to take responsibility for our errors and stop blaming institutions or eras. After all, to err is human and to forgive is divine. Buhari erred (something to which he openly admitted in Chatham) and I think he should be man enough to face the punishment for his countless misdemeanors.
General Buhari, kindly bend over and get your head politically guillotined; lose like you’ve never lost before come March 28… take a shameful bow from Nigerian politics. I think this is much better than what life handed the Saddams and Pinochets of this world.
NB: When next you APC goons come to me with your index and middle fingers raised up same time, pointed in my direction with the palm showing as a peace sign, I will simply do same but in the reverse; with the back of my hand showing. My own version is used by the British as a more polite version of ‘Bleep’ you 😉
– Simon Utsu tweets from @simonchairman
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.