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THE MANY SINS OF BUHARI – THE LEOPARD CANNOT CHANGE HIS SPOTS
-Buhari made it very clear he would not be doing any business with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and had no need of their bogey loans which are in reality, booby traps (IBB would later gladly take them). Buhari instead, advocated for barter and direct countertrade with Brazil and other nations of the Third World. He was more interested in bartering oil for technology, spare parts and raw materials. Naturally, that pitched him against the West even if that meant good news for the economy of the world’s most populous black nation. However, this move was severely criticized by people like General Olusegun Obasanjo and Major-General James Oluleye.
-Clamping down on the press: It was not
funny at all for journalists during the Buhari regime. Decrees upon decrees ensured that if your pen danced too much, you will go and sing the rest of your Awilo in jail. The Guardian, which was one of the most liberal newspapers at that time had many of their writers imprisoned. Some of the decrees (like the obnoxious Decree 4 of 1984, called the Public Officials (Protection Against False Accusation Decree)) were quite ridiculous in the sense that you will go to jail if you write and publish a story that was embarrassing to the government, even if that story was true, as it was in the case of Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor ofThe Guardian when they wrote article about military officers sent to diplomatic posts overseas. For me, that is excessive, you don’t need to put stew on jollof rice na…lol!
-Restriction of freedom and deprivation of fundamental human rights: According to the Decree Number 2 (1984), the State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree, the Chief of Staff (Idiagbon) had the power to detain, without formal charges, anyone deemed to be a security risk for up to three months. Ha! When we are not living in Pyongyang…lol! But please note that this decree has been existing since the time of Ironsi. Using the instrumentality of this decree, journalists were hounded and jailed while about a dozen press houses were closed down (Beko Ransome-Kuti, Tai Solarin and Haroun Adamu were all jailed under this decree).
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) were proscribed. Lobatan! Also, industrial actions were banned, demonstrations were not allowed and if you organize public protests, you will singohun oju mi ri l’Alagbon more than Orlando Owoh. But how was the dictatorial regime of Buhari able to do this? There was the National Security Organization (NSO), Nigeria’s first secret police service, which was on hand to intimidate, harass, detain, punish protesters/demonstrators, students, lecturers, critics, activists and civil servants who dared embark on strikes. It was so bad that by October 1984, about 200,000 civil servants had been retrenched.
-Corrupt civilian governors and ministers under the Shagari government were all rounded up by Buhari and jailed but without trial. IBB would later release them in droves…lol! Funny kontiri. President Shagari was put under House arrest but his vice, Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme were slammed with corruption charges and put inside Kirikiri prison - another nepotism.
-Expulsion of foreigners: About 700,000 foreigners, especially from Ghana and other West African nations were expelled from Nigeria following an announcement on the 15
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