A group of Nigerians living in London yesterday protested against President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently in the UK on a visit.
The protest, held a day after Buhari declared his intention to contest for another term in office at next year’s election, took place at the Abuja House official residence of the Nigerian president in London.
The protesters say Buhari has no moral grounds to seek a second term because of what they perceive as his failures in managing the country well. Issues raised by protesters include Buhari’s failure to stop the incessant killings perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen and the general economic hardship in the country.
The protesters said they would take their action to the venue of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) next week, which the president will attend.
In a swift reaction, presidential media aide, Garba Shehu, said his boss won’t be distracted from his mission in London, blaming looters for the protest.
A presidential source, widely quoted in the media who does not want his name in print, said: “Barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari declared his intention to contest for another term in office, the camps of alleged looters and corrupt elements within and outside the country have been jolted, forcing them to push panic buttons including renting a motley crowd of professional demonstrators to protest against the President on his arrival in the United Kingdom”.
The source claimed that extremely corrupt Nigerians who are custodians of slush funds stolen from Nigeria, and hiding in UK or are resident cronies of such elements, 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.
President Buhari will seek a second term as a candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in spite of doubts over his health and criticism of his first-term performance.
The stock market fell to three-month lows after the re-election bid announcement, signalling concern about four more years of poor management of the economy.
The 75-year-old was away from the country for more than three months on a ‘medical vacation’ in London last year after battling an unspecified illness.
Many notable Nigerians, including former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, have advised him not to seek re-election.