FORMER Military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, has urged
President Goodluck Jonathan, to promptly halt what he called the
government’s “runaway train of impunity” which he said now
threatens the nation’s democracy.
In a blunt remark Monday, Mr. Buhari, now a leader of the
opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, blamed Mr. Jonathan
for the impeachment of the Adamawa State governor, Murtala
Nyako, and the recent gale of impeachment threats against other
“Whether or not President Goodluck Jonathan is behind the gale of
impeachment or the utilization of desperate tactics to suffocate the
opposition and turn Nigeria into a one-party state, what cannot be
denied is that they are happening under his watch, and he cannot
pretend not to know, since that will be akin to hiding behind one
finger,” Mr. Buhari said in a statement.
He accused the government of subverting the constitution to
impeach a governor, and deploying the institutions of state “just to
kick an out-of-favour state governor in the groin”.
“’The dangerous clouds are beginning to gather and the vultures
are circling; and these have manifested in Nasarawa where the
ordinary people have defied guns and tanks to protest the plan to
impeach Gov. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura in a repeat of the bitter
medicine forced down the throat of Gov. Murtala Nyako,” Mr.
“’The people’s protest in Nasarawa is a sign of what to come if the
federal authorities continue to target opposition state governors
for impeachment. In the long run, the impeachment weapon will be
blunted. Positions will become more hardened on both sides and
Nigeria and Nigerians will become the victims of arrested
governance and possible anarchy.”
Mr. Nyako was removed last Tuesday by state lawmakers,
accused of misspending government funds.
The opposition APC accuses Mr. Jonathan and the ruling Peoples
Democratic Party, PDP, of being behind the move, an allegation
fuelled by speculations that more APC governors are targeted for
After Mr. Nyako’s ouster, lawmakers in Nasarawa State moved
against their governor, Tanko Al Makura, threatening impeachment
also on allegations of mismanagement.
The presidency and the PDP have denied responsibility for the
happenings in Adamawa and Nasarawa States.
But Mr. Buhari said as president, Mr. Jonathan cannot feign
ignorance of the unfolding political events, and warned of serious
threats against a nation already facing grim security troubles with
attacks on defenceless civilians by the extremist Boko Haram sect
spiralling out of control.
Mr. Nyako’s impeachment, or similar threats against other APC
governors, are aimed at “decapitating” the opposition, he said,
warning of dire implications for Nigeria’s “tenderfoot democracy”.
Mr. Buhari, who has thrice vied and failed to become president,
said President Jonathan should remember no democracy can
thrive without a virile opposition, “hence it will amount to a man
cutting his nose to spite his face for anyone to embark on a
journey to decapitate the opposition, as the current central
government is doing”.
He said a man of power must realize he cannot always do things
just because he could do them.
“I, along with many other patriotic Nigerians, fought for the unity
and survival of this country. Hundreds of patriotic souls perished
in the battle to keep Nigeria one. The blood of many of our
compatriots helped to water the birth of the democracy we are all
“Let no one, whether the leader or the led, the high or the low, a
member of the ruling or the opposition do anything to torpedo the
system. Let no one, whether on the altar of personal ambition or
pretension to higher patriotic tendencies, do anything that can
detonate the keg of gunpowder on which the nation is sitting. It is
time for all concerned to spare a thought for the ordinary citizens
who have yet to see their hopes, dreams and aspirations come to
reality, within the general context of nationhood,” Mr. Buhari said.
The ex-military ruler said he has a duty to speak out regardless of
his status as a politician and an opposition leader, and that he
resorted to public comments after unsuccessfully trying to have
the president reconsider his tactics after he discussed with him