The editorial board of the Punch newspapers have this morning decided to cease referring to President Muhammadu Buhari as ‘President’, instead they’ll revert to his military title – Major General. This they say is a symbolic demonstration of autocracy and military-style repression and will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his military rank.
Here are excerpts from their statement:
The entire country and a global audience are rightly scandalised by the unfolding saga over Omoyele Sowore and the unruliness of the SSS and the government; but it is only a pattern, a reflection of the serial disregard of the Buhari regime for human rights and its battering of other arms of government and our democratic institutions. PUNCH views this tendency and its recent escalation with serious concern, knowing as the great thinker, Edmund Burke, said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Nigeria had trod a path, a veritable obstacle course, where repression, especially under military jackboots, was a malignant presence and this attracted heroic resistance by ordinary people, civil society groups and the press. But Nigerians have lately become lethargic, divided by ethnic and sectarian sentiments and weakened by widespread poverty brought on by a rapacious political class and bad governance.
But the SSS is not alone. The Nigeria Police, whose notoriety predates Buhari’s second coming, has continued its serial abuse of human rights and is ever available to officials who routinely deploy police officers from the mundane abuse of sirens in traffic to arbitrary arrest and torture of victims. The police and military fail to understand that peaceful agitation and the right to associate are fundamental rights.
Under the law, suspects cannot be held beyond 48 hours except by a court order. But the regime observes this in the breach. Yet, Nigeria is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and other treaties guaranteeing fundamental rights. The 1999 Constitution also spells out basic rights. But the regime chooses which rights or court orders to respect or obey. This is unacceptable. Critical segments of the society have been assaulted, silenced or compromised. It is time, as a Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has strongly advocated, for civil society to rejuvenate itself and send the message to Buhari to “rein in his wild dogs of disobedience.” From the United States has come a message from the Department of State, two senators and Congress telling the Buhari regime to stop its shocking affront to the rule of law, reminding the General that “respect for the rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, and due process are key tenets of democracy.”
The regime’s repression cannot succeed but will further polarise the society and weaken national cohesion. The Nigerian Bar Association has vowed to defend the sanctity of judicial authority, while Soyinka has warned that disregard for court orders could beget desperation and civil disobedience. Nigerians need to stop their supine acquiescence to oppression and learn to stand up for their rights as many are doing around the world, using all peaceful and legal means, including the right to protest and of peaceful assembly. It is Dasuki, el-Zakzakky, Sowore and others today, who knows who is next if repression is not resisted?
Royal Split: Prince Harry expresses great sadness
Britain’s Prince Harry expressed “great sadness” on Sunday at the way he and his wife Meghan had to give up their royal titles as part of separation settlement with the Queen.
“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this,” Harry said in his first remarks on Saturday’s historic agreement, made during a public address and posted on the couple’s Instagram account.
“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible,” he told supporters of his Africa-based charity for youngsters with HIV at an event in London.
The settlement stripped Harry and Meghan of public funding and required them to repay £2.4 million ($3.1 million) of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.
Harry was also forced to give up the military titles and patronages he was awarded after serving two tours in Afghanistan with the British Army.
But Harry said he felt “utmost respect” for Queen Elizabeth II.
“It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service.”
“I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family, for the support they have shown Meghan and me over the last few months.”
He also hinted at some trepidation at starting a new life away from his royal home. He and Meghan will spend some time in Canada before deciding whether to move to the United States or another country.
“We are taking a leap of faith — thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step,” he said.
President Buhari reveals why he joined Politics
President Buhari finally reveals why he joined politics after his release from prison President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed why he joined partisan politics after he was released from prison over thirty years ago. He said he joined politics because of his integrity.
Will Smith and Martins Lawrence named Honorary police officers by Miami City Police Force
Hollywood actors, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, ahead of the release of the new ‘Bad Boys for Life’ movie, were on Sunday honored by the Miami City Police Force for their outstanding contribution to the growth of the entertainment industry in Miami.
Smith has lived and worked in Miami for almost half a century, and the Bad Boys movie Franchise has always been shot in Miami, hence the Miami city police force thought it wise to celebrate and honor Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and handed them ‘keys to the city’ plaque and Miami police force badges while also granting them honorary police officer titles, roles they both played in the Bad Boys film.
Smith took to Instagram to celebrate the achievement .
“Been rockin’ with Miami for over 25 years and today me and @martinlawrence got the keys to the city and were officially made honorary Miami Police officers!! Big thanx @francisxsuarez and @pitbull (happy BDay) for setting us up! #badboysforlife,” the 51-year-old actor shared on Instagram alongside a series of photos and videos of the two men receiving their keys.
In one of the videos, the official who presented Smith, 51, and Lawrence, 54, with the honor also announced that Jan. 12 would be celebrated as the “Bad Boys for Life” day in the city of Miami, which was met by cheers from the crowd.