Many Nigerians living in London yesterday protested against President Muhammadu Buhari. The protesters stormed the Abuja House in Kensington London, where the President is staying, blaming him for the nation’s ills.
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, the Presidency said looters were behind the protest.
The protesters were said to have accused the President of not addressing the herdsmen-farmers attack, and not doing anything about the citizens’ welfare.
A presidential source, who does not want his name in print, insisted that the protest was corruption fighting back. The President’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said his boss won’t be distracted from his mission in London.
He 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.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Another source 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,” he said
Another presidency source said: “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 said
Some security sources disclosed that the protesters were bent on embarrassing and humiliating the President throughout his stay in the UK.