Impunity as far as this piece is concerned is when someone does illegal things without caring about the consequences.
When someone believes he is over and above everything and can act in any manner he pleases, with the belief or conviction that nobody can question his authority, and also having no regard for the judgment of the conscience.
President Muhammadu Buhari is the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having ruled the country as a military dictator from 1983 to 1985.
There is a divided opinion about his military government till date. While some school of thought believes his government was the best in the annals of the country, because of his passionate War Against Indiscipline, others regard it as the worst in the country’s history, saying it foisted a great deal of hardship and hunger on the citizenry.
When the country returned to civilian government in 1999, it was not quite long before Buhari started throwing his hat to the ring and repeatedly contested every presidential election. He was probably the most consistent presidential contestant in the history of Nigeria. He had suffered three failures, until finally in 2015 luck smiled at him and he actualized what is arguably his greatest life desire/ambition.
Many factors worked in his favour; the violent approach of the Fulani oligarchs, led by him and their diehard foot soldiers who were ready to give anything, including their blood to ensure that the aspiration of Baba Buhari was actualized. Why won’t that be the case when the master himself with his Lieutenants had made numerous threats and unguarded utterances as regards the election, same way he had done in the previous elections?
Buhari had during the first official election of president Good luck Jonathan, threatened to make the country ungovernable in the event that the election was rigged and he fails to secure victory.
The reinvigoration of the Boko Haram terrorists that actually made Jonathan’s government ungovernable and still troubling Buhari’s government (though PMB seems not much bothered) was linked to that utterance by many analysts. That is a story for another day.
Actually the statement in bracket is one of the factors that precipitated this write-up. The fact that Buhari has maintained the service chiefs appointed since the inception of his government over four years has led to numerous unresolved thoughts in the minds of Nigerians. This is an action of impunity.
It had rarely happened in Nigeria that Service Chiefs are kept for such a long period, even after some of them have actually retired by records.
Just like Bible, the Holy book of the Christians in Romans chapter 5 vs7-8 recorded that it is extremely difficult for someone to die in place of a righteous person, talk more of dying for an ardent and unrepentant sinner. However it was the exact thing that Jesus Christ did for Christians and indeed the whole world, in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us.
It is rare in the history of Nigeria that superbly performing service chiefs are kept for so long, talk more of a team that have performed woefully to the unanimous agreement of the whole Nigerians, including Buhari’s allies and puppets in various sectors like the national assembly.
The call to sack the service chiefs have been reverberating across the length and breadth of the country, but Buhari impunitiously has remained adamant to every voice of reasoning and maintained deaf ears to the cries echoing from bleeding Nigerians.
To make matters worse, these are service chiefs appointed by Buhari, in total disregard for the national character as enshrined in constitution of the country as they are mainly from the Northern Fulani block.
Lopsided appointments in various sectors
This is part of the problem discussed above, not only is the country battling with the problem of incompetent service chiefs who are bereft of ideas in the face of riot being ran against Nigerians by various terrorist groups, there is a serious issue of lopsided appointment which has been swept under the carpet by Buhari and his master strategists.
On the issue of the service chiefs, it is almost concentrated in one section of the country. Though other segments of the country were given something to at least placate them, the South-east, as in many other appointments, were dismissed with a wave of the hand, simply because the Buhari led government has indicated by many actions that he does not see the region as a force to reckon with in the country.
It is no longer a hidden or imaginary fact that the Buhari government has undermined the federal character principle to concentrate everything good in Nigeria in the North, especially his Fulani block of the northern Nigeria. He does these things with great deal of impunity, without minding whose ox is gored.
He is also overlooking the atrocities of Fulani herdsmen and treating the unguarded utterances and hate speech of Miyeti Allah leaders with levity
One group that have disturbed the peace of Nigeria and caused a lot of mayhem in the country is the Fulani cattle breeders almost every state in the country have felt the brunt of the group’s terror.
They have put many families in sorrow, weeping and mourning. They have rendered some women widows, some men widowers, some children orphans. They have even wiped out some entire households.
In the face of all these, the umbrella body of the cattle owners and rearers in the country make provocative statements and unguarded utterances that are capable of inciting chaos in the country, but the powers that be treat it with levity.
There had been calls from well meaning Nigerians to the president to declare them a terrorist group, but we saw from the posture of the president that he will never contemplate such thing, let alone implementing it.
He will rather mete severe punishment to those who make such call if they had persisted. Off course, Buhari is the acclaimed grand patron of Miyetti Allah who seems to share the presidential immunity with him.
There were incidents that played out during the early stages of the administration when the president was constantly getting sick and spending months abroad for medical treatment. It happened that whenever the president stays months abroad for the medical treatment, the killings by the herdsmen drastically reduced because adequate security measures are put in place to clampdown on them and stop their nefarious activities, but whenever the president comes back, they seem to be emboldened to recommence their inhuman actions.
While most utterances of the Miyetti Allah leadership in the country and many states of the federation are overlooked, the federal government is making frantic effort to regulate the social media space, with the claim that it is being used to propagate hate speech. ‘What an irony’.
Meanwhile, for merely making some utterances that could also be tagged unguarded and inciting, the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who could be said to be fighting a just cause, judging by the clear marginalization of the Igbo in the country, especially under Muhammadu Buhari administration, is demonized and targeted for annihilation. There have been several incidents of extra judicial killings of members of IPOB and other agitators for freedom by Nigerian security agents which are swept under the carpet.
At a point in time, we all were witnesses to the fact that the Buhari led federal government sent battalion of soldiers to the ancestral home of Nnamdi Kanu in Afaraukwu Umuhia, with an alleged aim of either capturing him alive or dead. The mystery of how he escaped that watertight siege by the Nigerian military still remains a mystery till today
During that operation, many IPOB members and other innocent citizens and residents of Umuahia were allegedly killed by Nigerian military officials, while the father and mother of Nnamdi Kanu who were arrested and manhandled by the military personnel did not survive the onslaught.
The many areas where the Buhari government has manifested acts of impunity is inexhaustible. This medium at this point may not have the space to exhaustively look at them, but the fact is clear, the Buhari led APC federal government is government of impunity which goes ahead to do whatever it pleases, without minding the feeling of the masses or the consequences of the action.
This is not the best way to approach governance, especially in a democratic setting. It is always an invitation to anarchy and civil unrest, like the EndSARS debacle which we are still feeling the brunt.