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?
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.
Car wash operator kills neighbor over gate closure
A car wash operator, Sheriff Balogun, has been arrested for allegedly killing his neighbour, Peter Elebo, during a fight over the time to close the gate of their place of residence at No. 32 Ola Street, Itire, Lagos State.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said in a statement on Sunday, that during the fight, Balogun pushed Elebo to the ground, adding that the latter started vomiting blood and died on the spot.
He stated that the deceased’s daughter, Faith, reported the incident at the Itire Police Division, where personnel were mobilised to arrest Balogun, adding that the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, Yaba, for further investigation.
He said, “On Saturday, January 11, 2020, around 7.20am, one Faith Elebo, of No. 32 Ola Street, reported at the Itire Police Station that around 1.30am, one Sheriff Balogun, 35, who lives in the same compound with them, had a fight with her father, Peter Elebo, about when to close the compound’s gate.
“Sherif Balogun pushed down Peter Elebo, who started vomiting blood and died on the spot. Homicide detectives led by the Itire Divisional Police Officer, SP Barkfur Kromkyes, visited the scene. The corpse of the deceased person was evacuated to the mortuary for autopsy. The suspect was arrested and transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for discreet investigation and prosecution.”
In another development, a mentally-ill man, Badejo Adewale, has allegedly set one Bolatito Kadara ablaze on Hogan Bassey Street, in the Surulere area of the state.
Elkana said the victim was taken to hospital for treatment, adding that Adewale was taken to a psychiatric hospital in Yaba and that efforts to interview him proved abortive as he did not utter a word.
He stated, “On Thursday, January 9, 2020, around 7.08am, one Adeola Kadara of No. 13 Aiyeleto Street, Surulere, reported at the Surulere Police Station that she received an information that on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, her brother, Bolatito Kadara, was set ablaze on Hogan Bassey Street, Surulere, and was taken to the Lagos Island General Hospital. Police detectives visited the scene and proceeded to the Lagos Island General Hospital, where the victim was seen recuperating.
“He made a statement to the police and narrated how one Badejo Adewale, who is mentally-ill, poured petrol on him and set him ablaze. Investigation was extended to the psychiatric hospital in Yaba, where the suspect was admitted. Efforts made to interview him proved abortive as he could not utter a word. The investigation is still ongoing.”