Global Rights, an international human rights organisation, says the administration of ex-president Muhammadu Buhari was characterised by threats or intimidation of protesters and journalists.
According to the organisation, the Buhari government allegedly made frantic efforts to suppress access to information, curtail freedom of expression, and monitor how and for what purposes citizens assembled.
In its report titled, “Shege! A scorecard on the Buhari administration’s impact on Nigeria’s civic space”, published on January 13, 2024, the Global Rights alleged that in the eight-year term of President Buhari’s administration, Nigeria witnessed a notable decline on all frontiers of civic space and basic freedom.
The report noted, “The administration was characterised by a suspicious relationship with the media, a frosty relationship with civil society organisations, and a clear desire to control access to information, curtail freedom of expression, and monitor how and for what purposes citizens assembled.”
It added that there were also several legislative attempts made by the administration with regard to the civic space, stressing that if all these attempts made it into law, it is safe to say Nigeria would have emerged as one of the most repressive democracies globally.
According to the report, no fewer than 69 protesters were killed during the Buhari-led administration.
The organisation also alleged that 250 protesters and 189 journalists were arrested, detained, or harassed under the leadership of the former president.
Similarly, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Auwal Rafsanjani, said that under Buhari, there were a lot of unlawful arrests and detentions of journalists and civil society activists.
“Do not let us forget the atrocities committed against the Shiite.
“Buhari also came up with legal frameworks to gag the civil society,” he said.
He advised President Bola Tinubu not to toe that path for the peaceful coexistence and development of the country