Nigeria’s president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, has met one of the journalists jailed by his military regime nearly 30 years ago.
Tunde Thompson was imprisoned in 1984 under the notorious Decree 4 of the Buhari military government.
Alongside his colleague, Nduka Iraboh, at the Guardian newspaper, Mr. Thompson became one the faces of the regime’s iron-fisted rule, a case repeatedly referenced during Mr. Buhari’s campaign for March 28 election.
Mr. Thompson said ahead of the polls that he had forgiven Mr Buhari. He later worked as part of the former military leader’s media team.
At a meeting Tuesday in Abuja, Mr. Buhari praised the journalist for rising above his jail experience to forgive and support him, saying what happened under his military regime was one of the challenges of that period.
The president-elect also commended members of his campaign media team led by Shehu Garba for running a very “decent media campaign” despite the vigorous hate campaigns mounted against him by the Peoples Democratic Party.
Mr. Buhari, who received members of the team and “Social Media Influencers” at the Defence House, Abuja on Tuesday, was full of praises for the APC Presidential Campaign Media & Publicity members.
“I want to commend you especially for two things. First, is the decent media campaign you conducted. Despite the PDP’s dirty tactics, you stayed focused on issues and avoided the temptation to sling mud.”
The president-elect praised INEC for deploying technology as part of the process of the last election with the use of PVC and Card Readers.
“We must commend Nigerians who believe in our message of change and INEC for introducing Card Readers and PVC,” he said.
“All elected leaders will now know that the voter is the king. Nigerians now have more faith in our elections because their votes will count.
“If not for PVC and Card Readers the PDP as usual would have written the results and asked losers to go to court.
How can people who are struggling to survive go to Court and get money to pay the SANs of this world. We must thank God for the success of this election.”