The Presidency has said Nigerians, including Media outfits are allowed to address President Muhammadu Buhari by his military rank of Major General since the government promotes freedom of speech in the country.
Mr. Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, revealed this as he reacted to Punch Newspapers deciding to address the president by his rank of Major-General from now on.
According to him, Buhari got the rank through hard work and he is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces constitutionally.
He added that Buhari’s government will stick to its promise of the freedom of the press.
His words, ”Nothing untoward in it. It is a rank the President attained by dint of hard work before he retired from the Nigerian Army. And today, constitutionally, he is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
”All over the world, just as in our country, a large number of retired military officers are now democrats. It does not make those who did not pass through military service better than them.”
”Rather than being pejorative, addressing President Buhari by his military rank is another testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which this administration (or regime, if anyone prefers: it is a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve.”
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Muhammadu Buhari GCFR (born 17 December 1942) is a Nigerian politician currently serving as the President of Nigeria, in office since 2015. He is a retired major general in the Nigerian Army and previously served as the nation’s head of state from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état. The term Buharism is ascribed to the Buhari military government.
He unsuccessfully ran for the office of president of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007, and 2011 general elections. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the March 2015 general elections. Buhari won the election, defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. This marked the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate in a general election. He was sworn in on 29 May 2015. In February 2019, Buhari was re-elected President, defeating his closest rival Atiku Abubakar by over 3 million votes.
Buhari has stated that he takes responsibility for anything over which he presided during his military rule, and that he cannot change the past. He has described himself as a “converted democrat”.
Muhammadu Buhari was born to a Fulani family on 17 December 1942, in Daura, Katsina State, to his father Hardo Adamu, a Fulani chief, and mother Zulaihat. He is the twenty-third child of his father. Buhari was raised by his mother, after his father died when he was about four years old.
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