Nigeria’s PUNCH Platforms to henceforth address Buhari as military dictator
A Frontline newspaper in Nigeria, The Punch and other punch titles and platforms will henceforth address President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria as a military dictator in protest of the administration’s penchant for disobedience to democratic norms. In 2015 when he won the election, Buhari directed that his titles as military ruler should be dropped with due respect to him as a “converted democrat”.
The Punch’s decision is coming days after the government backed a re-arrest of a journalist and social activist, Omoyele Sowore in the hallows of the court chambers despite the courts directive that Sowore should be released.
Nigeria’s former National Security Advisor, Sambo Dasuki and the leader of Islamic sect, Shiite, El-Zakzaky are skill in jail some years after Nigerian courts directed that they should be released.
Punch’s Editorial on Wednesday reads: “As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH, (all our print newspapers, The Punch, Saturday Punch, Sunday Punch, Punch Sports Extra and digital platforms most especially Punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80’s, Major General and refer to his administration as a regime until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law”.
Nigerians on the social media have hailed Punch’s stand, calling it timely and responsible considering their take on what Buhari’s style of governance represents.
In 2015 when he ran against incumbent government, Buhari promised to drop his military toga and imbibe democratic principles. But years down the line, Buhari’s style does not resemble democracy hence The Punch’s stand on Wednesday.
The term Buharism is ascribed to the Buhari military government.
He unsuccessfully ran for the office of president of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 general elections. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the March 2015 general elections. Buhari won the election, defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. This marked the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate in a general election. He was sworn in on 29 May 2015. In February 2019, Buhari was re-elected President, defeating his closest rival Atiku Abubakar by over 3 million votes.