Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President published an abstract from secret documents on his Twitter account (@abati1990), exposing the information from Wikileaks about Buhari’s 1983-84 governing years. Naij Report.
The information is provided by the Public Library of United States Diplomacy through Wikileaks.
The exposed classified letter is dated September 20, 2002. It reads in part:
Like President Obasanjo before the 1999 election, General Buhari’s political experience is limited to that of military Head of State. Buhari came to power as a result of a 1983 New Year’s Eve coup against the democratically elected Shehu Shagari. The eviction of Shagari came as a welcome relief as did Buhari’s promise to root out corruption. That relief, however, was short-lived as Nigerians watched despairingly as the Buhari regime’s promises to revive the economy and wipe out rampant corruption withered during 20 months of heavy-handed, largely ineffective rule.
In May 1984, Buhari ordered the brutal expulsion of 700,000 illegal immigrants from neighboring African states, jailed hundreds of political opponents and muzzled a once aggressive press. His loyalty to the military also came into question as he dismissed 30,000 soldiers as a cost-cutting measure. Buhari also soured Nigeria’s relations with Britain, when he was accused of masterminding a clumsy and unsuccessful attempt in July 1984 to kidnap President Shagari’s brother-in-law, former Transport Minister Umaru Dikko. Moreover, Buhari undermined traditional rulers throughout Nigeria, slashing their benefits and questioning their authority.