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Jonathan’s Prediction: Buhari is Coming to Jail People Indiscriminately, Make Nigeria a Jungle

During the flag off of his campaign for reelection at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos ahead of the 2015 presidential election, former president, Goodluck Jonathan in words that have become prophetic and are currently resonating with Nigerians, warned that his then challenger and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) had no regard the for rule of law, and would, if elected president, jail people indiscriminately without regard for the law.

The former president had recalled the Umaru Dikko saga. The late Dikko, a minister of transportation under the Shehu Shagari government, was a staunch critic of Buhari and had ran to London following the military coup of 1983 that toppled the Shagari administration and ushered in the Buhari regime. Whilst in London, Dikko who had achieved a reputation for corruption under Shagari, granted interviews in which he severally criticized the Buhari regime. He became a thorn in the flesh of Buhari’s military government.

In 1984, the government plotted an audacious attempt to bring Dikko back to Nigeria. Some officials of the regime, working with a number of foreign collaborators, successfully kidnapped Dikko from his London home, drugged him and put him in a crate which they claimed was a diplomatic baggage at Stransted Airport in an attempt to bring him back to Nigeria. However, the plot failed. A lady staying with Dikko at the time and had, through the window, seen him being bundled into a van, contacted the British authorities who subsequently intercepted the crate in a Nigerian jet at the airport before it took off.

Recalling the incident during the said campaign, Jonathan had warned that if Buhari was elected president, he was going to do similar things to “his enemies” in the name of fighting corruption.

Buhari eventually won the election in 2015, and Jonathan’s words have now begun to resonate in the wake of disobedience of court orders by the government of President Buhari with videos of the former president speaking on the occasion currently trending online.

Buhari continues to face criticism over the continued detention of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omowole Sowore in disregard of court orders for his release.

Former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, as well as leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky has also remained in jail since 2015 in disrespect of court orders.

During the campaign which held on January 8, 2015, Jonathan had also accused Buhari, without mentioning his name, of failing to buy equipment for the military whilst he was head of state, which according to him, was part of the challenge soldiers were facing in the war against Boko Haram terrorist group in the North East.

“They talk about insecurity, that they will fight insecurity. And you ask, are Nigerians in the armed forces weak? If we have problems, what is the cause? Equipment. They don’t have platforms. And somebody who wakes up and tells young people of 23 years old that he wants to fight insecurity, ask him, when he was the head of government, did he buy one rifle for a Nigerian soldier?” Jonathan had said.

“They said we are weak because we know there are some people who took some of our uncles and our fathers while they were abroad, put them in a crate, and attempted to fly them to Nigeria. But they were intercepted mid-air by superior powers. That stopped Nigerians from even going to Britain at the time. The relationship between Nigeria and Britain went bad. The whole world isolated Nigeria. They said that is the way to fight corruption. So, immediately I suspect your uncle, I can just crate him and throw him into Kirikiri. Is that the way to stop corruption?

“I came in with (Musa) Ya’Adua and Ya’Adua advocated for due process, and I stand by due process. Any country that does not obey rule of law is a jungle. Any country in this world that doesn’t obey rule of law is a jungle society. Do you want Nigeria to be a jungle society? Immediately I suspect that you have done something wrong, I will just ask the police and the army to catch you and throw you into jail. Is that the country you want?” Jonathan had asked the audience at TBS.

The former president had noted that a country ought to be managed properly as an industry, and that such required people with intelligence.

“They said to be strong is to jail people indiscriminately, for 300 years. Is that where you want to go? A country is like an industry, it must be managed properly by people who have gray and white matter upstairs,” he had said.

“Some group of people have said that you can either vote for your liberation or your imprisonment. Some group of people came, and I read it in the papers, when they see people in government, maybe senators, governors commissioners and so on; people who are holding offices, they say ‘we will draw line, we are not probing the past,’ because they want to deceive them to support them.

“They said they will start fighting corruption only when they cross the bridge. But only two days ago, somebody stood in Port Harcourt and said he was going to catch people in the streets and throw them into Kirikiri. The same mouth said something from the right and another thing from the left, contradicting statements. Can you trust those people? Are they not deceiving you? They want power by all means, but what they want to use the power for is to imprison their enemies. I have no enemy to fight.

“You ask some of the people who are deceiving you now, they have asked some people for outside this country to go to social media and be telling all sorts of lies. But ask them, when they were in power, did they build nursery schools for anybody? They built prisons, but I build universities.”

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