Article 21 (3) of the Human Rights Declaration is at the heart of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The universal right of democracy to which the article refers is one right whose existence can guarantee the enforcement of all other rights. To violate this particular requirement is a capital offence on human rights which requires a capital punishment. However, the requirement of capital punishment does not entail the imposition of the same punishment. The members of the community who are the recipient of such offence also have the prerogative of mercy. In other words, the community may choose to forgive the offender or temporarily suspend punishment. The capital offence of forcefully sacking a government who was the product of the ÔÇśrepresentative will' of a democratic community is what Buhari committed. Furthermore, he rejected the option of mercy by killing the three supposed drug offenders when the circumstances requiring capital punishment was doubtful.
Mercy is normally shown based on one condition, namely that of repentance. Repentance gives at least an intellectual assurance that the individual when faced with the conditions of the same crime will not indulge in it. Now, we must note that Buhari has never shown the faintest sign of repentance but has often rationalized or tried to justify his capital offence. His posturing on discipline and accountability which is simply a strong man syndrome sidesteps the real issue. Being strong willed cannot nullify or exonerate one from the miasma which such capital offence incurs. Achebe's Okonkwo typifies the indelibility of miasma that comes with a capital offence. Okonkwo was strong willed, he challenged everyone, could throw anyone in a fight, had a prosperous yam barn but immediately he committed a capital offence his downfall set in (ihe mgbu ya ebido). He was exiled and the rest is both myth and history. Buhari has been assisting and will continue to assist Sisyphus in his work .
Some Heads of States especially African ones who were there when Buhari struck are still much around. Now imagine a President Buhari from the Giant of Africa - real or presumed, going to the United Nations or to Libya, Zimbabwe or Ivory Coast to lecture them on the need to adhere to the principles of democracy or human rights. What kind of response will ensue? Gbagbo or Qaddafi can just retort "what did you do in 1983?" And the reply comes "eeem we had to do what we did and meanwhile this is not 1983." Qaddafi may just counter-reply "this is 2011 and we are doing what we ought to do." In essence, candidate Buhari does not in any sense of the word promote our stand in the international community. We have made progress in international affairs since President Jonathan took over. Buhari will be an albatross around our neck and an attempt to set back the hand of progress. Swearing in President Buhari as the Nigerian President come May 29th will be the highest point of self-mutilation for a nation that aspires to occupy a seat in the Security Council and also serve as a big brother to other African nations.
The upper hand the U.S. has in international affairs does not stem only from her military and economic might, but above all from her democratic credentials. Despite the dent given to her by President Bush with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, all arguments of injustice veer into the charge of hypocrisy and self-serving interpretation of the UN Charter when that democratic trump card is thrown on the table. "Emmm, why Iraq and not North Korea." Those who are so fast to throw in that hypocrisy charge must be boldly reminded that toleration is not the same thing as acceptance. The United Nations is not a United Nation-State. Article 1 (2) of the United Nations Charter clearly spelt out the issue of equal rights and self-determination. In essence, any smallest component nation of a nation-state who agitates for equal rights especially in political matters, justifies America from intervening when it deems fit.
However, what hypocrisy it will be for a country to elect a person who assaulted the very idea of democracy. If I may tweak Pat Utomi's recent comment "we need to crash this democracy," I will say "if Buhari can win this election, this democracy should be crashed." The reason is simple. If under OBJ, Yardy or now GEJ that democracy has being receiving insults, with Buhari it becomes an existential lie; a falsehood sprung into being that only needs a tranquilizer. No matter how arduous, Nigeria must move on. The most comforting idea for a disillusioned and weary soul is the idea of a messiah with a magic wand. Criss Angels may succeed in freaking the minds of teenagers and unsuspecting adults but the discerning mind is not confused. Buhari and Bakare are the Nigerian Criss Angels. They may have followers with vuvuzela and are always ready to blow it. But it does not deafen our ears from hearing that still voice chiming "danger, danger."
But despite all the vuvuzeling and endorsement from journalists, candidate Buhari does not scare us one bit; reason being that he lacks tactics as a politician. Any good politician cannot pontificate on the removal of immunity clause in a country where Governors have a near total control on who becomes a senator or House of Rep members. A good politician cannot, few weeks to the election, publicly make a pronouncement of questioning past leaders - OBJ, GEJ(supposedly) in a country where such leaders have control over a sizeable number of politicians and the electorate, even though he refused our questioning through Chukwudife Oputa. Buhari is not aware that in matters of self preservation, there are no limits to force.
OBJ with his influence in today's Nigerian politics can never allow a leader who accepts ab initio the idea of questioning him to emerge. Instead the whole process gets crashed. "How dare you publicly make a pronouncement of questioning the Ebora of Owu." You want to desecrate the Masquerade. Perhaps, the old man Buhari is heading for a crash - either as gate-crashing or crash-course. But my big warning to my fellow citizens is this: beware of gate-crashers. No matter how meek they appear, they are often so brazen and have been known to succeed in the end of stealing the chief celebrant.