One of Nigeria’s major newspaper, Punch has called out President Muhammadu Buhari’s government over its reckless disregard for court injunctions, arbitrary detention of citizens, attack on the press and shrinking of civic space.
The newspaper particularly cited the ongoing saga of the detained Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore, and how the government and the Department of State Services (DSS), have flagrantly disobeyed court orders on the matter.
PUNCH, which made its stand known in an editorial on Wednesday, titled; Buhari’s Lawlessness: Our Stand, also vowed to no longer adorn President Buhari, who once declared himself a “converted democrat”, with democratic robe.
It also said it would henceforth refer to President Buhari by his military title of Major General, in all its publications in protest against his autocratic and military-style leadership.
“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.”, the editorial reads.
PUNCH also called on Buhari to immediately sack the current DSS director-general, Yusuf Bichi, order the immediate release of all victims of illegal detention and compel obedience to court orders.