The APC/Buhari administration rode to power on the back of a robust and far reaching public opinion mechanisms.
We all remember that this government had attempted severaly to clampdown on the social media through various means but failed repeatedly to achieve that.
Now they’re using the NBC to threaten radio stations, which researches has shown to be the strongest and most effective agent of mass communication.
We shouldd remember that one of the major criticism used against Buhari by the PDP before the elections was that he was NEVER a Democrat and he can NEVER be a Democrat, they went further to till up different draconian and authoritarian decrees he promulgated during his illegitimate military rule.
Buhari as the proverbial leopard has refused to change its skin, the systematic clampdown on public opinion and freedom of expression is one thing that will make Buhari retain his position as the most intolerant and draconian head of government in Nigeria, that on its own is a type of achievement no one can take away from Buhari and several sleep walking Nigerians who are yet to come to terms with the reality that Buhari has nothing to offer Nigeria besides nepotism and hypocrisy and other senile approaches to issues.
If Goodluck Jonathan had clamped down on radio and tv stations in 2015 many ordinary Nigerians like my very self would’ve been denied the opportunity of going on radio and television to selflessly and voluntarily campaign rigorously as ordinary Nigerians for Buhari which further sensitized the masses and subsequently led to his election victory.
Buhari seems to be an unrepentant intolerable autocrat and he can’t withstand criticism which is one of the greatest dangers that can threaten our democracy.
Nigeria now has a very simple and adorable history of an incumbent president who lost election and conceded defeat and left power gloriously.
Every well meaning Nigerians should begin to let Buhari and APC know that the only thing that has kept the Country going is the freedom and opportunity to express ourselves on issues of great importance as it concerns the way and manner we are being governed.
A lot of radio and tv stations are creating diiferent platforms for people to be heard through various programs in different languages across the Country and that has helped tremendously in helping lots of Nigerians to make informed decisions across the Country during the 2015 General elections.
First it was Radio Continental 102.3fm Newspaper review that went off air which was followed by name change of the station and now it is the City105.1fm newspaper review and phone-in program that is going off air again.
Be it conspiracy or victimization, whatever it is that is happening to those avenues where people expresses themselves on political matters as it affects them should be critically looked into before the Country gradually drifts into a voiceless and timid society.
It is also imperative to let Buhari realize that he is a product of a contest which came about through a process that observed every rules of fair play, and his predecessor who put all those in place never envisaged his defeat at the polls but he created an enabling atmosphere for equal opportunities for every contenders and when he lost the elections he honourably conceded defeat.
2019 should not be an exception, Buhari should create a level playing ground and follow all the rules of fair play.
The gradual and systematic denial of freedom of expression is a major infringement and impediment to a free and fair election.
Let us all remember that, “Those who makes peaceful change impossible makes violent change inevitable”
The ongoing systematic seizure and expulsion of public opinion from our polity by president Buhari if unfettered has a greater capacity to make the progressive and active inhabitants of our democratic atmosphere to recline and become reclusive, thereby setting our political demography backward.
This is a prelude to political apathy which must be discouraged at all reasonable cost.
President Muhammadu Buhari had crossed the river of a free and fair elections made possible by freedom of speech and vibrant and enabling public opinion, and now he wants to take the bridge along with him to deny Nigerians the right of choosing whoever they prefer to lead them in 2019 just like we preferred him to Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
Nigerians should resist every attempt by this government to take Nigeria back to the military era which forbids freedom of expression.
Deji Ogundimu is a concerned Nigerian.