Nigerian activist and 2023 presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, on Wednesday, stated that his greatest joy would be to see the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari handcuffed and made to pay for his alleged crimes against humanity.
Sowore said that while former leaders in civilised countries are arrested and prosecuted for their crimes, in Nigeria, they are rewarded with pensions.
The AAC presidential candidate, while speaking at an event to mark the 2023 International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, in Abuja, submitted that he would love to see Buhari handcuffed and made to pay for all his crimes against Nigerians, either in Nigeria or at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Citing the case of the former United States president, Donald Trump, who has been charged with different crimes, Sowore noted that “Nigerian leaders who engage in corruption, abuse of human rights, are given red carpet reception every day and every night everywhere, including the one that just left (Buhari).
The moment he left, the Nigerian government first paid for him to go and do a medical check-up in London instead of putting him on the plane to go to the ICC (International Criminal Court).
“Because the force disappearance we are seeing is small compared to what the Buhari regime did in terms of human rights violation.
“We are not talking about people who were summarily executed, having been labelled as IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) members or the 3,000 Shiite members that were killed and buried overnight in Zaria.
“The person who did it, the governor of the state, was about to be made a minister, and he is now a reggae musician because they didn’t make him a minister.
These are grievous crimes, and Nigeria has witnessed too many of these inhuman crimes – degrading treatment and torture of its citizens that we should not be appealing to the government. We should not be appealing to the people who are responsible for committing the crimes.
“Nigeria must reach a level where Nigerian leaders pay for their own crimes – whether they are in office or outside of office.
“I would love one day to see Buhari handcuffed to pay for his crimes, if not in this country, at the International Criminal Court of Justice.”
Speaking further, Sowore stated, “These crimes don’t have a statute of limitations. It doesn’t matter whether you committed force disappearance in 1960 or in 2023; you can be punished for it at any age as long as you are alive.
“It applies to the military, the police officers, the DSS (Department of State Services) or anybody within the Nigerian security agencies.
“The DSS officers behave as if they don’t have names, families and records. We know all of them. If you have been working against the Nigerian people, no matter how long it takes, you must be made to pay for the atrocities you committed against the Nigerian people.
“It is not true that nothing will happen forever. Some of them will start paying for their crimes when they retire.”