Mother Africa is a country and has many sons, today, I will look at Buhari from the district of Nigeria and his close brother, Museveni both sons of Intolerance,who recently disowned Edgar Lungu from Zambia for behaving like a coward and conceding election results to Hakainde “You are a disgrace, you don’t lose while in Power, you are not my true son”, Intolerance said in a family meeting in Addis Ababa. Let us look at the true sons of the soil. Imagine people dying in a country not having been killed by terrorists or robbers, but by the armed forces of the two respective countries
Nigeria and Uganda are both state signatories to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 21 states that,” The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” One of the sources of Law in most common Law countries is, International Treaties and Obligations, this requires the signatory states are obligated to respect the said provisions and inculcate them into national laws(domestication). As a matter of fact, the Ugandan and Nigerian constitutions recognize and uphold the right to Peaceful Assembly.
In October 2020, young Nigerians took to the streets calling for the disbandment of a rogue and abusive force, the SpecialAnti- Robbery Squad and the codename was, End SARS(the movement began as early as 2017). The security forces responded with excessive force ending lives and injuring many. It is alleged that Buhari was in the know.(This can’t be independently verified) As I write this, the victims are yet to get justice. The date was 20th October 2020.
A month later,here in the peril of Africa, we were readying for the presidential elections and I for one, has never believed in presidential elections . Robert Kyagulanyi’s supporters(one of the contestants) took to the streets after he was arrested in Luuka district. The security forces responded with fire and over 29 people lost their lives. The date was 18th November. A year later, victims are waiting for Justice. There has been a leaked report although government is yet to come out formally with the report. BBC did come out with an investigation on the shootings and the government as expected is taking it’s sweet time. The government has painted them as lawless rioters, but even if they were, the force used to quell the demonstrations was excessive and above because none of the protesters were armed. There was absolutely no reason to respond with live fire.
The two governments have tried to come up with repressive laws that limit public order and assemblies and recently the Ugandan constitutional court Nullified such laws. The two governments will argue that the demonstrations were not peaceful but we all know that there’s no effort to allow for Peaceful dissent. Nigeria got its independence in 1960, its brother to the east, Uganda got independence in 1962 both have had military rule in the past, which have come out of successful military coups. With such a background, there is every effort to quell peaceful assemblies. There is one conclusion to that, both brothers have failed on the politics of Common Sense. In every society, there should be room for showing disagreement with the governance. Holding the government to account is one aspect that shows maturity in Leadership. I was thinking about Thomas Sankara’s words.
In the Ugandan shooting, its also alleged that the head of state was in the know which is why I call them brothers because they have a similar way of dealing with peaceful assembly. To the two brothers,fire is the answer and it doesn’t matter who dies, after all who dare stands up against the mighty brothers?, Governments which are moving forward with political accountability actually deal with peaceful assemblies by using the security to guide the assembly rather than prohibit such peaceful assemblies.It is safe to say that Buhari and Museveni are brothers because of how they deal with Peaceful demonstration. May the deceased continue resting in power, the Tree of Freedom must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of tyrants and patriots.The former shall refresh the oak of Liberty in the two states.