Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
Supporters of Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari released a statement on Sunday warning that a former president is plotting the ouster of the current leader, ahead of worldwide protests to demand changes in Africa’s most populous nation, as the economy tumbles, insecurity expands, poverty grows and human rights abuses skyrocket.
The Buhari Media Organization (BMO) described the alleged move as “a sinister plot by a former civilian president and a gang of conspirators under the guise of ’eminent persons’ to instigate an uprising to force the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
BMO warned “the former president and his co-travellers to quickly perish the thought and save the country from avoidable constitutional crisis and civil unrest.”
[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]
Nigerians at home and abroad, including in the United States, are planning worldwide protests next month to demand changes in leadership, two years ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Many are citing fallen standards of living, growing insecurity, nepotism, human rights abuses, and many other challenges that have been exacerbated since Buhari came to power in 2015.
Buhari’s supporters did not name the former president plotting to remove him, but described the alleged plot as “reckless and anti-Nigeria.”
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the pro-Buhari group blasted “the conspirators for their recourse to unconstitutional means to force the resignation of President Buhari.”
They wrote: “Our highly reliable security sources have informed us of the determination of the former President to go ahead with a plan to cause disaffection in the country through a planned conference of so-called eminent Nigerians. While the Conference ostensibly aims to review the state of the nation, we can authoritatively confirm that it is actually a premeditated plan to create confusion in the polity by calling President Buhari to resign after a supposed vote of no confidence.
“Our Security sources said the worries over this latest move by the former leader is not so much about the illegality of the planned declaration but the anarchical mindset behind it, especially given the growing resurgence of military putsch in the West African sub-region. Any appearance of national confusion, even if scripted without any basis, could fuel unreasoned confusion.
“We, therefore, call on Nigerians to be wary of manoeuvres by people who are desperate to erode the foundation of our hard-fought democracy to further the agenda of a desperate, bumptious and self-serving group of elites besotted with power to the point that they are ready to throw the country into a contrived pandemonium to remain relevant.”