President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday insisted that the country’s democratic system of government was “too slow” for him prosecute corruption. Buhari made the disclosure while giving a remark on his 77th birthday at State House, Abuja.
In a rambling monologue replete with halting grammar and syntax, Buhari said: “When I came in uniform, I collected those who were leading (in corruption), took them to Kirikiri (Maximum Security Prison) and told them they were guilty until they could prove themselves innocent,” Buhari said.
“I put based on almost all the geopolitical zones committees to investigate them. Those that were found to have lived beyond their means, the balance was taken and were given to the states. But I myself was arrested, detained and they were given back what they have stolen. So under this system which is supposed to be more accountable, but it is too slow for my liking, but I have to follow it.”
This was not the first time Buhari will complain about the country’s democratic system of government while comparing it to a military regime. In December 2018, Buhari said his decision to play by democratic rules of government has made critics nickname him “Baba go slow”.
Buhari, a former Nigeria military ruler from December 1983 to August 1985, then blamed the country’s democratic system for his government’s ‘slow performance’ since elected in 2015. The president, however, said he had “learned the hard way” that democratic system does not permit him to be dictatorial against people perceived to be corrupt.
Buhari’s government has been criticised of being selective in obeying court orders with many orders disobeyed. His government has also been accused of violating human rights at different times. Recently, The Punch Newspaper in an editorial said it will cease to address Buhari as a democratic Nigerian President but with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s- Major General Buhari (rtd).
The Punch said its decision was in protest of serial disregard for human rights, court orders and the battering of other arms of government and Nigeria’s democratic institutions by the “Buhari regime.”
Currently, Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim el-Zakzakky and his wife and former National Security Adviser and former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki are all being held in custody by the government agencies despite court orders granting them bail.