Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno, the Panamanian President and military officer was captured on January 3, 1990, in Panama and flown to the United States even while he was President of that country. He was subsequently tried and imprisoned in USA by the America government.
Like Muhammadu Buhari, Noriega was an authoritarian ruler. But Noriega amassed wealth through drug trafficking operations. Though he had longstanding ties with the United States intelligence agencies, it did not deter the US to invade Panama and remove him from power. He died in May 29 2017.
Certainly, President Buhari may not have been involved in drug trafficking, but his regime is known to have been in power when thousands of Nigerians particularly Christians were butchered and sent to their untimely grave in cold blood via a group that styles itself Myetti Allah. The group’s killer squad has recklessly abducted, raped and killed innocent Nigerians with reckless abandon with the Buhari’s regime looking elsewhere.
The United States went for Noriega when it was clear that he was behind the drug cartels in the Western Hemisphere. If that is the case, what about a man whose regime is seeing to the cutting down of thousands of innocent lives? Which one is more serous a crime? The Panama’s ex President may have been involved in the drug trafficking charge which he was accused of even as President of his country, but could it be compared with a regime of human wastages?
Drug is an elixir for crimes and criminalities no doubt, and for sure destroys the entire body system, (that’s for those who indulge in it though). But those who flee from either the drug business or its usage are not in any way in danger. The dangers posed by drugs to the society are a far cry to a situation where an innocent farmer or innocent villager, who labours in his/her farm, tilling the ground, gets butchered by some marauding militias called Fulani herdsmen for no credible reason. Mind you, Buhari is Fulani and by lineal inferences, they are his kinsmen.
Buhari is now in Britain enjoying the comfort of a well planned system, with good medi-care, while the doctors in his country, which he presides as Head of Government are on strike over poor wages and dilapidated facilities the state run hospitals and clinics. Hasn’t he got ample opportunity as President to build the best hospitals and train the best doctors that can handle his medical challenge?
Yes, he may be in the good books of the United Kingdom and yes, he may be doing their biddings, but like the case of Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno, when the destruction of the society is involved, friendship is set aside.
Noriega relationship with the US deteriorated in the late 1980s after his relationship with intelligence agencies in other countries came to light, and involvement in drug trafficking was investigated further, according to Wikipedia. In 1988, Noriega was indicted by federal grand juries in Miami and Tampa on charges of racketeering, drug smuggling and money laundering.
The United States launched an invasion of Panama following the failed negotiations seeking his resignation, including his annulment of the 1989 Panamanian general elections
Noriega was captured and flown to the US, where he was tried on the Miami indictment, convicted on most of the charges, and sentenced to 40 years in prison, ultimately serving 17 years after a reduction in his sentence for good behaviour. In 2010, Noriega was extradited to France where he was convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for money laundering. In 2011, France extradited him to Panama, where he was incarcerated for crimes committed during his rule for which he was tried and convicted in absentia in the 1990s.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor in March 2017, Noriega suffered complications during surgery and died two months later. Now, the United States spent much effort, resources and risk of its servicemen in capturing Noriega, but Buhari in whose regime thousands of Christians are being massacred just enjoys the comfort of United Kingdom unquestioned.
Why won’t they keep him there and begin an enquiry into how the rights of many Nigerians are violated, how innocent Christians and worshippers of religious bodies are sent to their untimely grave under his watch? Last Wednesday, August 4, 2021 a pregnant woman had his womb ripped open as Fulani jihadists who now enjoy sympathy and encouragement of the Nigerian security harvested her vital organs as they equally killed seven others at Ehamufu, Enugu State.
Killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna, Benue, Delta, Ondo, Oyo, Edo etc have become a recurrent decimal. Besides these wanton killings, there are widespread abduction and raping by these jihadists across Nigeria all in the bid to advance an evil course. The Nigerian security forces, whose Commander-in-Chief, is President Muhammadu Buhari have failed to arrest or declare them terrorists. Yet flag carriers and campaigners are labeled terrorists.
If Britain is serious in the war against terrorism and human rights abuses, then it should start it with Buhari now that he’s with them. Nigeria will jolly well swear in another as President and peace will return to the country. These Fulani jihadists will retreat or even surrender and Nigeria and indeed the world will be better for it. Honestly, many Nigerians are mourning the defeat of President Donald Trump. This is one man that would have done the needful at the plane the nation called Nigeria finds itself right now.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.