Almost three weeks of protests culminating in the massacres of unarmed civilians in Nigeria speak volumes about the legitimacy of the Buhari’s presidency. This week’s ruthless massacre of innocent protesters reminds us of the 1989 Tiananmen squares massacres of hundreds to thousands of civilians protesting for reforms, including freedom of speech. The difference is China is a communist regime, but Nigeria is a democracy with a federal system akin to the United States.This week’s horrific event exposes the ruins and cracks of the Buhari’s government. The Buhari’s regime has failed to tackle the country’s problems of insecurity, food insecurity, unemployment, corruption among others.
For several years, Boko Haram and other insurgent threats have operated throughout Nigeria carte blanche. Radical Fulani herdsmen have become a thorn in the country terrorizing christian farming communities in Benue state and have expanded their reach to the southern parts of Nigeria. Fears of being kidnapped in Benin and other parts of the south have led many Nigerians to seek solace in Canada creating a brain drain of Nigeria’s brightest. Whereas Nigerian doctors are excelling abroad, Nigerian hospitals are in ruins and have become death traps for the sick.
During his campaign, President Buhari ran as a selfless Nigerian, to restore failing infrastructures including healthcare and fight corruption. Since his presidency, Buhari has embarked on many and extended health trips abroad, promoted nepotism and favoritism over merit, corruption has skyrocketed and the entire system is failing.
This government has failed! This week’s events reveal how far a dangerous and illegitimate government can go to suppress free speech and fight opposition. Using armed forces to massacre civilians exercising their right to protest bad governance and police brutality is a crime against humanity. While Buhari may not have given the order, he is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and vicariously liable for the events of October 20th.
The massacres of October 20 have caused untold hardships for many families with breadwinners lost and dreams buried. Is this a military regime? It is the state’s duty to protect its own. Only on the exercise of this duty can we consider the state legitimate. The Buhari’s regime has lost its legitimacy and in an ideal world, this government and everyone who ordered the massacres would resign. Nigerians have had enough of irresponsible self-seeking governments.Unfortunately, as with Africa, despite the visibility of these crimes, this is not a priority for the West.
It’s 2020 and Nigerians deserve better from their government!