Nigerians and the rest of the World WILL never forget The Punch Editorial of December 11, 2019 where the newspaper organisation dared President Muhammadu Buhari when other media organisations in the country were timid.
As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially Punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.
Entitled, “Buhari’s lawlessness: Our stand” The Punch resolved to address Buhari by his military rank, a stance that portrayed the retired soldiers as a dictator under the guise of civilian government.
Truly, Buhari earned the rank of Major General, but the tone of The Punch’s editorial sounded seemingly embarrassing.
The newspaper by its stand exposed some of the gross violations of the retired military Major General during his military junta in the 80s of fundamental human rights.
The Punch stated that Buhari was not ready to change going by the manner in which his APC-led government chose which and what court orders to obey and which should not.
In a statement, the Congress of the United States followed The Punch’s footpath by calling on the administration to obey court order if it wanted to continue to enjoy the respect of the international community.
The APC-led government had violated several court orders freeing former National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki; convener of the #RevolutionNow Protest Omoyele Sowore and the leader of Shiite in Nigeria Ibrahim El-Zakzaki.
Exactly two weeks after The Punch’s punch to those in the corridor of authority, Nigeria’s Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami in a statement said his office had directed the Department of Security Service (DSS) to release Sowore and Dasuki, according to him, in compliance to the court order.
And Dasuki who had spent more than four years in DSS detention walked free to his family.
In a case you missed it, find The Punch Editorial “Buhari’s lawlessness: Our stand” here