Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has urged Nigerians to see through what it called veiled protests by looters who have been jolted by President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration to seek re-election in 2019, with the aim of distracting him while in London for official engagements.
According to a source in the Presidency who pleaded for anonymity, the camps of alleged looters, barely 24 hours after President Buhari declared his intention to seek re-election, are working to frustrate the genuine ambition of the president.
The source said, “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 into the United Kingdom.”
The source also alleged 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.
“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,” the source said.
Continuing, the source added: “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.
“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,” the source said.
The source reiterated President Buhari’s mantra that corruption is 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,” he source states.
“The protesters are bent on embarrassing and humiliating the President throughout his stay in the UK”, the source said, adding that insider information reveals that the protesters plan to 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.
The Senior Special Assistants, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, when contacted to react to the development, said that the President would not be distracted from his mission in the United Kingdom.