Opinion: Do you really know Buhari?
by Peregrino Brimah
Here is a selection of statements that Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari made in public domain. They are quite unusual and paint a picture that may be seen as quite extreme but perhaps also present a Buhari who has never concealed who he is. You be the judge.
On Election Rigging: Kill Them
“Ku fita ku yi zabe. Ku Kasa, ku tsare, ku raka ku tsaya. Duk wanda bai yarda ba, ku halaka shi.”
In English: “Firstly, you must register, come out and vote. You guard, protect, escort to the collation centre and you wait until the result is counted. Anyone who stops you, kill/destroy them! (Crowd chants wildly.)” – Video, Pre-elections 2011
[Note: Buhari locked up ex-Governor Sule Lamido for identical words]
On Boko Haram: Don’t Kill Them
“The appropriate thing to do, according to the law, was for the police to carry out investigations and charge him (Mohammed Yusuf) to court for prosecution, but they killed him, his in-law was killed, they went and demolished their houses. Because of that, his supporters resorted to what they are doing today. You see in the case of the Niger Delta militants, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua sent an aeroplane to bring them, he sat down with them and discussed with them, they were cajoled, and they were given money and granted amnesty.
“They were trained in some skills and were given employment, but the ones (Boko Haram) in the north were being killed and their houses were being demolished. They are different issues, what brought this? It is injustice”. –theNation June 2013.
On Yar’Adua When He Was Sick: Impeach Him!
“Former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), has declared that the only solution to present political uncertainty in the country is for the National Assembly to set machineries in motion for the impeachment of ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. The 2003 and 2007 presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) made the declaration yesterday while addressing members of the National Unity Forum (NUF) which had visited him in Kaduna.”–Ismail Omipidan, Kaduna, Sun Newspapers (Wednesday, March 10, 2010)
On Democracy And Inclusivity: 5% Gets Less
“Er yes, erm I hope you have a copy of the election results. Literally, constituencies for example, that gave me 97 percent cannot in all honesty be treated, on some issues, with constituencies that gave me 5 percent. I think these are political reality. While certainly there will be justice for everybody, everybody will get his constitutional rights, but where the party and constituencies that by their sheer work, they made sure that they got their people to vote and to ensure that their votes count, they must feel that the government has appreciated the effort they put in putting the government in place. I think this is really fair in delivering.”–In response to Dr. Pauline Baker at US Institute of Peace, July 2015
On FOREX For The Privileged: Those Who Can Afford It Can Afford It
“If the country cannot afford it, so be it. (Your children will continue their studies, no doubt?) Those who can afford it can still afford it. Nigeria can’t allocate FOREX for all those who decide to train their children outside the country. We just can’t afford it. (So it’s tough luck) Well. That’s the situation we are in.” – AlJazeera’s Martine Dennis, March 2016
On Women: Belong in Kitchen
“I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room.” –BBC, Oct. 2016
Buhari insists it is role of a woman to Phil Gayle of Deutsche Welle:
“I am sure you have a house. You know where your kitchen is. You know where your living room is. And I believe your wife looks after all that even if she’s working.”
Mr. Gayle: “that is your wife’s function?”
Buhari: “Yes, to look after me”.
On Massacre By Military: Would Have Been Worse If I Was Still Military Leader
“It is unfortunate and extremely serious. How can any group will create a state within a state. I don’t want to speak about it in detail now. I better leave it until I receive the inquiries. But there are a number of clips I saw where some excited teenagers were virtually hitting the chest of Generals; you know, putting road blocks, banning vehicles and pelting them with missiles (Questioner: Do you feel infuriated?) Very much so, but again I realize my position. I am now a sitting duck.” – In media chat after hundreds were killed and secretly buried in Zaria incident of Dec. 2015
When Fulanis Were Reportedly Killing Locals In Oyo in 2000: My People
“Your Excellency, our visit here is to discuss with you and your government our displeasure about the incident of clashes between two peoples… the Fulani cattle rearers and merchants are today being harassed, attacked and killed like in Saki. In the month of May, 2000, 68 bodies of Fulani cattle rearers were recovered and buried under the supervision and protection from a team of Mobile Police from Oyo State Command. That some arrests were made by Oyo State Police Command in the massacre with their immediate release without court trial. This was said to have been ordered by Oyo State authorities and they were so released to their amazement. The release of the arrested suspects gave the clear impression that the authorities are backing and protecting them to continue the unjust and illegal killings of Fulani cattle rearers…” According to the general, they therefore wanted immediate stoppage of the killings, justice and compensation to the Fulanis. The police and SSS however revealed that the reverse was the case. – October 2000
What is interesting to note is that these above are not a tiny selection from many talks but actually about a quote per few times Buhari has spoken publicly. If such extreme speech is so common the few times he’s been heard in public, does it imply that he always speaks this way? Only his inner circle can confirm. But it is important we know that Buhari is who he says he is and most importantly, who he acts as and not who we conjure him to be in our minds and dreams.
@EveryNigerian: Do you really know Buhari?