A lot of Nigerians did fantasize about a messiah – a leader who would be altruistic and selfless enough not to suck Nigeria dry – but are now beginning to see that the quest is an almost futile one. It has been revealed that so many demagogues who initially pretend to be martyrs for a humane cause have turned against the people they vouched to protect and fight for. Time and again, Nigerians continue to lose faith in their self-styled leaders/politicians that recline on that exalted seat of power.
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Except for the unrepentant Buharists and headstrong hallelujah boys, many of those who saw Buhari as the most credible Nigerian who will rescue Nigeria from the stranglehold has now changed my minds. The saying that, “Once a dictator; always a dictator” now seems to stick. Nigerians have now learnt a hard lesson that coming a second and a third time to rule under a civilian regime would not wash away the old traits of being a dictator.
There is no other time in the 20-year-old 4th Republic that so many journalists and prisoners of conscience have been incarcerated on what some consider, illegally as of now – during the “third coming” of President Muhammadu Buhari. Better still, as Punch Newspapers and The Signal – an online news publication – have vouched henceforth to address the president as Major General and Dictator Muhammadu Buhari respectively, one may as well update the appellation of Buhari who once, in an obvious political ruse, rejected the ‘General’ prefix in his appellation.
Some could argue that Buhari has always known that he had innate dictatorial tendencies, adding that he likes to temper same with the tenterhooks of appearing to love the masses and doing what he thinks is best for them. The over 90 million Nigerians currently living below the world poverty line will surely have testimonies to tell of how policies of this current administration have affected their lives.
No less than two prominent U.S senators whose Congressional committee oversees foreign policy have called for the release of Omoyele Sowore since his re-arrest. The U.K government has also called for the release of Sowore. And now that the Punch newspaper correspondent stationed in Aso Rock has been allegedly expelled in protest of the revolutionary position against perceived dictatorship taken by the media outfit, the perception by the general public that the president and his men are intolerant of oppositional voices and critique is further affirmed.
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It also now appears that no one will be surprised if Nigerians are being picked up by security agencies for the so-called hate speech, we won’t be surprised anymore because we may be rolling back to the precedents of previous years.
If a simple court order is so hard to obey, how much more listening to the yearnings of Nigerians? Whether Buhari embraces his new title of General which he once abhorred so as to appear in the good books of democracy, or not; whether he rejects such titles which reminds us of the days of the military junta, mere optics no more does it. Executive actions which show that the president is truly a man of the people will be the only avenue for General Buhari to redeem his already brutalized legacy.
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