Tuesday, June 1, 2021, I penned a piece titled “Buhari: Nigeria’s Blood Thirsty Dictator Gun Down Sowore” The article was a response to the shooting of Omoyele Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow by one of General Muhammadu Buhari’s killer corps Altine Daniel. Sowore was shot Monday during a protest at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.
In the piece I said “Like all dictators, Buhari is known for oppression and massacre of his own citizens. Buhari continues to entertain the world with disturbing humor of savagery and strange obsession.” Barely 24 hours after the article was published, Buhari who is fighting insecurity, widespread violence and disorder he helped create plans to embark on ethnic cleansing of non-Fulanis: “A rude shock” awaits “those bent on destroying the country through promoting insurrection, and burning down critical national assets, said Buhari. For the records, Buhari is the primary sponsor of terrorism, insurrection, and destabilization in the country.
Since Buhari became president, Nigeria has become a slaughtering field. Thousands have been killed and are being slaughtered every day across the country. There has been little or no opposition to Buhari’s reign of terror especially from people that matter. How has Buhari managed to manipulate and subdue the masses, the elites, and critical voices?
As a dictator, he controls the people by violent repression – torturing and killing people. He controls a tiny elite by keeping them happy. According to Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, professor of politics, New York University, corruption can be used by the dictator to buy rivals: “Corruption is a beautiful structure in a system that depends on very few people. On the one hand, by allowing them to be corrupt you induce them to be loyal because they are getting rich. And if they should be suspected of not being loyal… then you accuse them of corruption.”
Little wonder, Buhari’s war on corruption is focused on opponents and critics of his regime. How many corrupt elites like corrupt members of the National Assembly, state governors, ministers, etc., have been arrested, prosecuted, and jailed? To ensure his grip on the Nigerian people, he holds elections. Dictators like Buhari hold elections, but they usually rig them. Which is why since the inception of INEC, it has been headed mostly by Fulanis. Why do Buhari hold sham elections?
Jennifer Gandhi, a professor of political science at Emory University says “Marshalling an impressive vote total is designed to show to others, both within the population but also elites within the regime that any resistance is futile, it’s a way of signaling strength that belonging to the regime is the only game in town.” It’s no surprise therefore that thieves and looters from PDP decamped en mass to join their fellow rogues in APC. Once they joined APC, they are pardoned and all of their corruption wiped clean.
With his dictator’s survival guide, Buhari cannot cling to power forever. He has lost everything: power, credibility, integrity, and legitimacy. The opportunity is now for Nigerian people to enact revenge – on Buhari.