President Muhammadu Buhari, who ruled Nigeria as a ham-fisted military dictator from 1983 until the coup plotters came calling in 1985, says democracy has been slowing him down a lot.
Buhari, who refers to himself these days as a “converted democrat,”contested the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential elections without success, before beating then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to emerge winner of the 2015 vote.
Buhari carved a reputation for being tough on corruption in his days as a military head of state, with persons accused of graft, hounded into jail before they had a chance to defend themselves.
Accusations of being a dictator in a democracy
The president has recently been accused of human rights violations, disobeying court orders and an attempt to re-enact a tough military past in his stint as a ‘democratic’ leader.
The nation’s most read newspaper, Punch, recently resolved to prefix Buhari with his former title of ‘Major General’ and refer to his administration as a ‘regime’ “until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”
President Buhari celebrating his 76th birthday last year at the villa (Voice of Nigeria)
On the occasion of his 77th birthday celebration at the presidential villa, Buhari admitted that it’s been tough trying to put up with all the nuances and processes that come with democratic governance.
“I have learnt the hard way. When I came in (military) uniform, I collected those who were leading, took them to Kirikiri (prison) and told them that they were guilty until they could prove themselves innocent. Based on all geopolitical zones, I put up committees to investigate them.