Muhammadu Buhari Military Rule In Nigeria (1983 – 1985)

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Muhammadu Buhari Military Government In Nigeria (1983 – 1985)

Military Government In Nigeria

Muhammadu Buhari
Full Name Muhammadu Buhari
Date of Birth 17th December 1942
78 Years – ( January 24, 2021 {Last Update})
Nationality Nigeria
Place of Birth Daura, Katsina State, Nigeria
Political Party Congress for Progressive Change (2010–2013)
All Nigeria Peoples Party (2002–2010)
Service Nigerian Army
In Office 1961 – 2021
Military (1961 – 1985)
This information are basically what we found on Muhammed Buhari Wikipedia official page as at times of publishing this article. We’re not responsible for any changes made in future.

Major General Muhammadu Buhari Military Regime

This article only explain in details the military regime of Muhammed Buhari. We don’t published any information regarding Muhammad Buhari early life before his military services, neither do we write anything information after been removed from office.

The military once again seized power from a civilian government on 31st December, 1983. In a dawn announcement by Brigadier Sani Abacha (as he then was), Major General Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the new Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The coup effectively put an end to the tottering Second Republic. As a result of the coup, President Shehu Shagari, Dr. Alex Ekwueme (Vice President), Ministers, State Governors, State Commissioners, lawmakers and party leaders were immediately rounded up and clamped into detention.

Some of the principal political personalities of the Second Republic were later tried and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment by special military tribunals.

Thus, one of the immediate causes of the coup d’etat was the high level of corruption among public officers. The decision to try the corrupt politicians was quite popular. The resultant imprisonment of many politicians for corrupt practices was nevertheless condemned by some people, not because state officials did not steal, but probably because due process was not followed in dealing with the corrupt officials.

Besides corruption which was rampart in every aspect of social life, the Shagari government also allegedly mismanaged the economy through weak leadership, poor economic planning and massive importation of food items and cement. At a time, the number of ships waiting to berth at the Apapa ports were more than 300.

The huge importation of goods resulted in the neglect of the agricultural sector and the domestic economy. As a result, there was increased dependence on foreign countries and a consequent depletion of the country’s external reserves.

Despite the high cost of living in the country and the scarcity of essential goods, the political leadership pretended as if there were no problems. A federal minister even humorously asserted that the situation was not as bad as being claimed and, proudly insisted that Nigerians had not started eating from the dunghills.

The civilian government, at both federal and state levels, was also fond of breaching provisions of the 1979 Constitution. Specific instances included the appointment of Presidential Liaison Officers, the impeachment of Alhaji Balarabe Musa, (the Governor of Kaduna state), the award of huge salaries to public office holders and lawmakers and the flagrant abuse of the rights of the citizens.

But the last straw that broke the camel’s back was the 1983 elections that were massively rigged in favour of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) which controlled the federal government. A party which could barely win seven states in 1979 won 13 in 1983 without any observable improvement in performance. As a result there were protests and disturbances in several parts of the country.

The people were alienated from the government which became very unpopular. Some opposition politicians, frustrated by the development, openly canvassed for the return of the military as all state institutions appeared compromised.

The Muhammadu Buhari government simply capitalized on the widespread discontent in the political system and the dissatisfaction of the people with the performance of civilians in government to establish one of the most authoritarian regimes in the political history of Nigeria. Some of the draconian measures introduced by the regime included:

  • Arrest, trial and conviction of corrupt public office holders.
  • Introduction of the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) to deal with the problem of indiscipline in the Nigerian society.
  • Promulgation of decrees to eradicate the problem of drug trafficking.
  • Massive retrenchment of public servants
  • Introduction of the debt buy back programme to ensure regular payment of Nigeria’s foreign debts.

The structure of the military government was similar to that of the Murtala / Obasanjo regime to which it claimed to be an offshoot of The Supreme Military Council (SMC) remained the highest decision-making body. The National Executive Council was the executive arm of the government and the National Council of States was a coordinating organ of government.

The Head of State was the chairman of these three bodies. He was assisted by the Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Major General Tunde Idiagbon. Both Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Idiagbon were very strict, inflexible and ascetic officers whose 20 months tenure in office was a marked departure from the rot of the past.

The unsmiling duo were no doubt politicians in uniform, yet their somewhat uncompromising posture on national issues underlined the regimes lack of capacity to implement popular programmes.

The Muhammadu Buhari regime also had its shortcomings and these largely accounted for its removal in a military putsch in 1985.

  • It promulgated Decree No. 4 of 1984 which made it an offence for anyone to publish any matter that was likely to cause the governrnent an embarrassment whether or not the matter was true or false. Under this Decree, two Nigerian journalists working with The Guardian newspapers, namely, Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor were jail for two years. This was construed as a war against the media.
  • Three Nigerians were tried and condemned to death under a retroactive decree law by a military tribunal in 1985 for alleged involvement in drug trafficking. The Muhammadu Buhari government confirmed the verdict and the three young men were shot by a firing squad at the Bar Beach in Lagos.
  • Both Buhari and Idiagbon hailed from the northern part of the country and were Moslems and these negated the principle of federal character and equitable distribution of political offices among states as stipulated by the suspended 1979 Constitution.
  • The government failed to announce a transition to civil rule programme before it was booted out of office in 1985.

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