The new president of Nigeria is a former dictator who imprisoned journalists and dissidents without trial and ordered soldiers to whip people who didn't form neat lines at bus stops and banks. Back in the 1980s, Muhammadu Buhari took power in a military coup, and he ruled a harsh law-and-order regime in Nigeria for 20 months. Now he calls himself a converted democrat ready to operate under democratic norms. But is that possible? Nigerian historian and writer Max Siollun joins me now to talk about Buhari's record. Welcome to the program.
CORNISH: And I have seen Buhari's previous role 30 years ago described as a draconian military regime. Talk a bit about his human rights record back then in the 1980s. What did he do?