APC presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari candidate said in an interview yesterday with CNN that it would be harsh to judge him against his record as a military ruler.
The same Buhahari claimed in an interview on Al Jazeera that his record as head of state, governor, and head of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) is what makes him ready for the challenges of leading Nigeria.
He is clearly talking out of both sides of his mouth and trying to have it both ways. The only record he has to run on was under military rule. His record under civilian rule since 1999 was mostly about running for president on four occasions, without actually running anything. In one breath, he is trying to run on his record and run away from his record.
You can’t judge Buhahari fairly without looking at his time as a dictator, in which he imprisoned journalists, activists like Tai Solarin, jailed Fela Kuti on trumped up charges, deported hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians, with very selective posturing about anti-corruption, etc.
It was a very harsh time for Nigerians, which was why his overthrow was celebrated by many. It is not harsh on Buhahari for people to face up to the reality about the man. Due diligence means we have to judge his time in public office and it was mostly under a military administration.
Buhahari also claimed recently that the fall of the Soviet Union had made him a democrat. Like most of his public utterances, he never adequately explained what he was trying to say. He may still think we are under a military dispensation in which only orders are necessary and no explanation is required.