Punch Dares President Buhari
By Ufuoma Egbamuno
Nigerian newspaper, The Punch, says it will henceforth refer to President Muhammadu Buhari “with his rank as a military dictator in the 1980’s and refer to his administration as a regime.”
The Punch made this known in its editorial published today titled: Buhari’s Lawlessness: Our Stand.
According to the newspaper, it will not “look the other way” like many Nigerians who have lately become “lethargic, divided by ethnic and sectarian sentiments and weakened by widespread poverty brought on by a rapacious political class and bad governance.”
“As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law,” the editorial stated.
According to the newspaper, the events of last week when an attempt to re-arrest #RevolutionNow convener, Omoyele Sowore, was made by the Department of State Service (DSS) is “a reflection of the serial disregard of the Buhari regime for human rights and its battering of other arms of government and our democratic institutions.”
“The entire country and a global audience are rightly scandalised by the unfolding saga over Omoyele Sowore and the unruliness of the SSS and the government,” the paper said.
It also noted that the Buhari government is guilty of violating court orders.
The Punch Newspaper Editorial of today sends a clear message to the perpetrators,choristers and fans of tyranny and state repression in our country and the corrosive and cowardly silence of those who should speak truth to power.Kudos.— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) December 11, 2019
“The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim el-Zakzakky and his wife have spent over three years in detention in violation of court orders granting them bail and ordering their release. A former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has been held in detention since 2015 in defiance of several court orders, including one by the ECOWAS appellate court that declared his continued incarceration illegal.
“Under Buhari, the SSS has become a monstrous and repressive secret police, acting often with impunity. Buhari bears responsibility for the state of repression because, as president, he can stop it today,” The Punch said.
The Punch also noted that other government officials have joined in the abuse of human rights.
“PUNCH will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law”, says @MobilePunch Editorial— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) December 11, 2019
“Some governors have borrowed from this nefarious model, deploying security agents and perverting the law to punish critics and journalists. Critics, Dadiyata Idris and Stephen Kefas, have been arrested and arraigned. Agba Jalingo is facing a treason charge for offending the Cross River State Government. Jones Abiri, a local publisher in Bayelsa State, has been charged with terrorism while, in Delta State, two journalists are facing criminal defamation charges.”
The Nigerian publication however called on President Buhari to “distance himself” from the acts of the security agency and sack the DSS boss.
“Buhari should similarly distance himself and his regime from the lawlessness and impunity of the current SSS DG, Yusuf Bichi, by dismissing him, ordering the release of all victims of illegal detention and compelling obedience to court orders. The SSS has not been efficient in the war against terror; it should perform its primary duty to safeguard the country.”