As Femi Falana (SAN) referred to President Buhari as General Buhari on a national TV instead of President Buhari that he should be in a democratic administration, Punch has declared too that they will henceforth be referring to the president on their publications by his military title, and also his administration as a regime, and all will be in reference to how the democratically elected president has been ruling the supposed-be democratic country in a dictatorial fashion. Though it is true that it has been nothing different from a dictatorship government all the while, but this is a very big and dangerous position for a media house like Punch to take, and at this time when the government is really keen on showing its prowess on going against the Rule of Law and infringing on human rights.
That everyone is now waking up to smell the coffee and realize the fact that a Major General Buhari cannot possibly be the democratic President Buhari they thought he would be or think he is is one thing that deserves some kind of appraisal—it’s a realization long due, as there have been the signals of dictatorship since as early as Buhari was the president-elect in 2015 when he reacted harshly to the press trying to cover him and forbade them because they belong to a particular media house he’s not pleased with. Anyone—no matter how ignoring of signs they are—was supposed to be able to have related to it as that— as President-elect Buhari did—the press is what a dictator dispenses anger on as early as they have any power at all to do that, and the activists, and the critiques and the opposition too. If a close attention is paid to how it has been in the first and second term of the president’s ruling, it would be clear to more people it has been all about everything that demeans the stance of the Rule of Law. But how would the president take being referred to as a Major General and his administration as a regime instead of being referred to as a president in a democratic administration? The answer is simple to get, just as it is simple to understand the president’s pattern of behavior.
The president wouldn’t dislike being referred to as a Major General and his administration as a regime—when he should be a president and his tenure an administration to depict the fact that it is a democracy—because him and everyone who talks for him will definitely always ignore the dictatorial undertone of those references of his office and his tenure. Being a Major General is a lifetime achievement for Buhari, it’s what he spent the best part of his life achieving, so there is no way he doesn’t like being referred to by the military title he achieved, even when all these are geared towards showing the world that the president is ruling this supposed democratic Nigeria as he ruled the country dictatorially when he was a supreme military ruler. We all know Buhari, it still wouldn’t challenge him to say a word about it, just as he keeps silent to every other thing that doesn’t mean anything to him—no matter how much they mean to the people he’s leading. However, despite the fact that these references wouldn’t move the president an inch, that doesn’t mean Punch will not be served accordingly. Let’s just wait and see how it ends. Punch will surely paid, we can only hope they are ready to.