On December 31, 1983, the military mounted a coup and Muhammadu Buhari, then a major general, became the country’s leader. Now seventy-two, Buhari says he has undergone radical changes since those days and that he now champions democracy. After the coup, he ran an authoritarian regime until fellow soldiers ousted him less than twenty months later, placed him under house arrest and handed power to another major general.
Buhari’s regime had executed drug dealers, returned looted State assets and sent soldiers to the streets with whips to enforce traffic laws. With oil prices slumping and Nigerians saying foreigners deprived them of work, Buhari’s regime ordered an estimated seven hundred thousand illegal immigrants to leave the country. Government workers arriving late to their offices were forced to perform squats. His “war against indiscipline” won many followers, though his Administration was criticised by others for detaining journalists critical of the Government and for passing laws that allowed indefinite detention without trial.
“A lot of people will tell you that they have their reservations about Buhari for many reasons — some because he was a military dictator and they worry whether he can uphold democratic principles and create democratic space,” said Kadaria Ahmed, a Nigerian journalist and political analyst. This was Buhari’s fourth bid to become president. A US Government official noted that Buhari was a good loser in those instances.
“Buhari has peacefully contested the last few presidential elections and accepted the results of those votes, even when he questioned the credibility of the process,” a US State Department official told reporters in Washington. In this campaign, Buhari promised to introduce universal health care, a pledge that many say is extravagant and unrealistic.
Some Nigerians sickened by the growing corruption under President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration say Buhari’s image of honesty and strictness is what the country needs. In addition, his background in the military is seen as invaluable in the fight against Boko Haram, Nigeria’s homegrown Islamic extremist group which has wreaked bloody havoc in northern Nigeria.
Now, Baba struggles with health conditions and it is really starting to get scary for some of us.
– A source in London has said that President Buhari is ‘cleared’ to return back to Nigeria next week.
– The UK doctors reportedly cleaned Buhari’s ear and applied antibiotics to it.
– Buhari was prescribed to a chest X-ray to determine the reason of his persistent cough.
Speaking to government officials at the State House in Abuja, Buhari said: “I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a young man, including in the military with its ups and downs” . The president also said he could not recall the last time he had a blood transfusion. Buhari, however, stressed that with or without him, Nigeria will continue.
I personally pray for Buhari to regain good health and have more years ahead. Let us not condemn the works and goals of this leader. Nigeria will be great again.
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