Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been accused of turning Nigeria’s 16 years old democracy into a dictatorship in just six months of coming to power.
The observation was made yesterday by Ibuchukwu Ezike, Executive Director of Civil Liberties Organisation, the country’s foremost human rights group, who spoke with Biafra Media Forum in Lagos State, Nigeria. According to him dictatorship occurs when agents and agencies of government begin to do the bidding of the leader against the dictates and demands of the law.
His words: “What is happening in the country today is a tendency to do things the way the leaders want, and not in conformity to the law of the land and international mechanisms approved by the United Nations and the African Union, among others.”
He gave examples with the detention of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and Director of Radio Biafra, and Dasuki, Nigeria’s former Security Adviser, which were done in flagrant disregard to court orders.
Speaking specifically of Nnamdi Kanu, he said: “There is the case of Nnamdi Kanu, the Director of Radio Biafra and leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who was detained in disobedience to a court order by the Nigerian authority. He was granted bail and all the conditions of bail were met, but as we speak, the young man is still under detention by Nigerian authorities.”
He advised however, that if protests and due legal processes failed, that the only option to any people would be to go international with their grievances. He expressed the belief that Nigeria is not an island on itself and therefore would not go against international instruments or pressure. “If the local options available to the people are exhausted, they can look for options beyond the country. I think that is the best way to go about it” he said.
He went on to express the opinion that if any agent of government is legally proven to have taken laws into his hands to kill unarmed protesters, that such an individual should be brought to book. His words: “If there were cases established by independent missions that there were excessive use of force against Nigerian citizens, or that the right of citizens were greatly undermined, or that crime against humanity had been established, then the law should take its course.”