With just about three weeks to the forthcoming presidential election in Nigeria, the candidates of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Goodluck Jonathan and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari have taken the war for the poll to the city of London.
Buhari had traveled to London early last week, where he met with the likes former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and others before going to Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs on Thursday, February 26th, February, 2015 to deliver a speech entitled: Prospects for Democratic Consolidation in Africa: Nigeria’s Transition.
He used the occasion to spell out the reasons he wanted to contest for the presidency of the country one more time after contesting for three consecutive times.
“As you all know, I had been a military head of state in Nigeria for twenty months. We intervened because we were unhappy with the state of affairs in our country. We wanted to arrest the drift. Driven by patriotism, influenced by the prevalence and popularity of such drastic measures all over Africa and elsewhere, we fought our way to power. But the global triumph of democracy has shown that another and a preferable path to change is possible. It is an important lesson I have carried with me since, and a lesson that is not lost on the African continent,’ he had said.
Buhari’s group to the institute included the likes of a National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Fayemi.
A crowd of supporters was said to be outside the institute chanting solidarity songs and displaying placards calling for change in Nigeria with Buhari as the agent of change.
But just as Buhari was planning to address the audience at Chatam House, agents of the PDP, which were allegedly led by the Director of Media and Publicity of President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, were planning to stage manage a protest against him outside the premises of Chatham House.
A source close to the presidency said that President Goodluck Jonathan felt embarrassed by Buhari’s trip to the institute as he believed that this could give him an upper hand in the countdown to the election slated for March 28, 2015.
He was said to have called his campaign team, and they were said to have advised him that the best he could do was to organize a protest to coincide with Buhari’s lecture at the institute.
Reacting to the lecture, Femi Fani-Kayode had said that Buhari failed to inform his audience in the United Kingdom how he loves the extremist group, Boko Haram.
In his reaction via a press statement, Mr. Fani-Kayode said that it was amazing that Mr. Buhari refused to participate in a debate in his own country, but was ready to go to a foreign country to sell his message in a desperate attempt to curry favour with the people of that country.
“We wonder whether General Buhari told his foreign audience, whilst he was in London how much he loves Boko Haram,” he said.
According to reliable sources, a sum of 20,000 pounds was earmarked for the protest by the PDP, and the organizers contracted a certain woman from Manchester City located outside London to organize men and women to stage a protest on the day Buhari was scheduled to deliver a speech at the reputable institute.
Our sources revealed that the contractor for the protest went all out to recruit prostitutes, thugs, unemployed youths and others for the job.
A source said that it was obvious that most of the protesters were oblivious of the reasons for the protest as they were incoherent, when they were being questioned to explain why they were protesting.
They reportedly displayed placards indicating that Buhari is a tyrant and a dictator, who should not be given a second chance.
Our source revealed further that the protesters chanted abusive songs to indicate that Buhari is not the best man for the job and that President Goodluck Jonathan should be given another four-year mandate.
“The deal was done by Femi Fani-Kayode, who contracted a lady in Manchester to organize some guys for the protest. It was really an embarrassing outing as most of the protesters were not coherent, when they were being interviewed by journalists during the protest. Even their conducts did not show that they really understood what was happening. They were simply rented crowd, who did not know their left from their right. It was indeed a show of shame,” said source.
The lecture and anti-Buhari protest have since attracted attention all over the world, and all eyes are once again on Nigeria as the nation prepares for the mother of all presidential elections scheduled for March 28, 2015.
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