President Muhammadu Buhari is Dictator of Worst Kind
By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
The failure of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari at democracy practice is obvious to all except his kinsmen in the inner circle; and even they must be having some doubts about his democracy credentials.
The list of president Buhari’s dictatorial impulses is almost unlimited considering his most recent Presidential Executive Actions.
These executive actions would ordinarily be called decrees during military rule, which was the way PMB ruled in his earlier life. He misses them these days.
- Restricting the use of the assets of persons accused of corruption. The Nigerian Constitution (1999) as amended presumes ALL accused persons as innocent until proved guilty in a court of law with proper jurisdiction. This assumption is waved in PMB’s decree #5 (executive action).
A person who is suspected of having acquired any asset by corrupt means will not have access to this property during the investigation process which sometimes could take as much as several years. If the frozen asset is a bank account, how does the accused fund his huge legal bills?
He cannot defend himself as vigorously as he could have if he had access to his account. And this is the purpose of this executive order.
The president by issuing this order has usurped the functions of the courts which have the responsibility for finding an accused guilty and seizing his assets if necessary.
- The use of military force for virtually any offence. The streets of Nigeria especially in the SESS zones are full of soldiers who are supposed to keep the peace. At the airport gates soldiers guard the entrances, and manage crowd control.
Individuals (elite civilians) can “rent” military of police officers for their individual protections; these illustrate the president’s penchant for authoritarian rule. Elite individuals are protected and the vast majority are left to their dangerous fate.
- During the APC convention we had duplicate delegates from many wards, states and zones. The democratic process was not followed as only those who are likely to support the presidency of Mr. Buhari was imposed on the convention.
The result was hand-to-hand combats. Where APC’s constitution called for a voice yes/no hand voting it was not used instead a yea/nay voice vote was the default position. The lower cadre had learned from the top of the ticket.
Even though there were opposition candidates for most positions, their voices were not heard. One had the impression that nobody challenged PMB for president.
- Perhaps the worst incidents are intimidation of opposition voices.
Nigerian stalwarts and elder statesmen who had the “temerity” to suggest to PMB not run for a second term were put on notice that they would become EFCC’s customers, and given EFCC’s high handed prosecution/persecution tactics the less than lion hearted have barked down.
The question people are asking is what do you expect from a former totalitarian leader? A full conversion? Well we did, but that is not what we have.
What to do?
Nigerians must do whatever they have to do to stop giving PMB a second chance.
With another chance we run the risk of having a president for life; a much more totalitarian president who surrounds himself with cronies and not strong men or women who would speak up.
The little fracture in APC might be the harbinger of good things to come.
Long live Nigeria.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba, Boston Massachusetts