Some Nigerians on Tuesday, reportedly mobilised and protested against President Muhammadu Buhari in London, barely 24 hours after the President declared his intention to seek re-election in the 2019 Presidential elections and travelled to the United Kingdom.
President Buhari who had travelled to London on Monday after the National Executive Council meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Abuja, met protesters in London, said to have been sponsored by people sources in the presidency described as corrupt elements within and outside the country.
According to the presidency sources, they were said to be a rented motely crowd of professionals protesting against the President on his arrival into the United Kingdom.
While speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), an Aso Villa source said, “they are extremely corrupt Nigerians who are custodians of slush funds stolen from Nigeria, and hiding in UK or are resident cronies of such elements, and have colluded to form a league of protesters with a singular aim of distracting and disorganising the scheduled state visit of the President to England, for bilateral talks with Prime Minister Theresa May and other dignitaries.
“Esteemed Nigerians home and abroad, friends and business investors in Nigeria, should please see through the veil of the motive behind the Abuja House, Kensington London demonstration. It was an orchestrated act of desperation and a ploy to blackmail and hoodwink the President from concentrating on his anti corruption campaign , which is fast gaining grounds locally and internationally.”
Adding that, “this unpatriotic act is not unconnected to the Federal government policies to name and shame corrupt citizens and looters; to collate database of Nigerians with homes in UK who are not paying the right taxes, and the hot drive to prosecute all financial defaulters through bilateral and multilateral means.”
A public affairs analyst who prefers anonymity also said “the protest was benchmarked on an assemblage of local grievances and national challenges which the government is already tackling head on. Such as the herdsmen versus agrarian farmers clashes, fuel scarcity which no longer exists and trumped up charge of hunger in the land at a time when prices of food items are beginning to drop and inflation on the decrease.”
His view was buttressed by Presidency sources who further repeated the position of the President who famously said that corruption was endemic and Nigerians need to kill it before it kills Nigerians.
“It is obvious that this is a clear cut incident of corruption fighting back. Many of the beneficiaries of corruption and slush funds cannot withstand another devastating blow of Buhari’s anti corruption sledge hammer. Hence, they are resolute to derail the apple cart in order to save their ugly faces and sit back to enjoy the loot in their personal banks. Some of the protesters are not even Nigerians but hired hatchet men paid to do the dirty job.”
According to security sources, the protesters were said to be bent on embarrassing and humiliating the President throughout his stay in the UK.
An insider vowed that they will take their demonstrations to the venue of CHOGM holding later in the month in Britain, which President Buhari is attending as a Commonwealth Head of State.
In his reaction to this development last night, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said that the President will not be distracted from his mission in the UK.
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