▪︎ He did not give impression he was out of the country
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not give the impression he was out of the country when he spoke to some young persons who called him, his spokesman, Mr. Tunde Rahman insists.
In a response via WhatsApp to Everyday.ng, Mr. Rahman said, “He did not give any such impression in any way. He did not know the youths. Some of them called him.
“He picked their calls even as aggressive and angry they were in their conversations with him. Asiwaju told them to be wary of violent protests. That they should protest as it is their right but be peaceful.
“He informed them he does not own Lekki Concession Company and lacked the power to deploy soldiers. As such he could not have ordered soldiers to kill anyone.
“The initial narrative was he was the one sponsoring protest, now it’s he is the one killing protesters. What a contradiction in terms? This period will surely pass over!”
Everyday.ng reports that when one of the young men who identified himself as Orę Seyi (meaning Seyi’s friend) who spoke to him over the shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate, where Tinubu is alleged to have substantial interest, asked, “They said you have even gone out of the country, that you are in France now
Tinubu: Um… well…
Orę Seyi: How true is that, sir?
Tinubu: It is almost true.
But the former Lagos Governor, between 1999 and 2007, denied he sent soldiers to go and shoot down protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, adding, ” No, not me, I can never order the Army now…please, I am not in a position to order Army now
Pressed further he denied ownership of the Toll gate, even as one of his callers insisted that he knows how much he makes at the Toll gate. The caller reminded Tinubu that he had children and it was not good for him to be involved.
Earlier, Tunubu said he was in the process of investigating the shooting at the lucrative toll gate on Tuesday night.
Recall that in the heat of the#EndSARS protests, the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a Fulani socio-cultural group, accused Tinubu, among others of initiating the protests to disgrace President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, out of power, as a prelude to pursuing a 2023 presidential ambition.
He has since waved the accusation aside, but a report by an Abuja-based newsmagazine, Forefront, offers interesting perspectives based on a security report it says it gleaned.
Its report reads in full: “Following the unabated protests by the #ENDSARS protesters, a security report may have implicated a coalition of some State governors across party lines as being behind the scene promoters and sponsors of the raging youths uprising.
The development is believed to have jolted the Presidency into an overdrive thus adopting extra ordinary measures to quell the escalating mass action before it turns to an uncontrollable situation.
This may not be unconnected with the directive by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) deploying anti-riot police squad to decisively crush the protests in some flashpoints such as Lagos, Edo, Osun States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from Wednesday.
It was gathered that as a means of justifying what the security report described as “adequate force,” the report which was believed to have been submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday night, recommended the discrediting of the uprising by using undercover security agents and thugs to introduce mayhem and extreme violence into what has been peaceful movement.
A security source confided in Forefront saying; “It is reasoned that once the protest has been subverted by the government agents, the crusade would lose sympathy and support among Nigerians and even the international community would be expected to understand why it is necessary to use optimum force to quell the revolt.”
It was further gathered that the report also recommended that pro-government groups should be mobilised in numbers that will effectively overwhelm the multitude of demonstrators particularly in the Federal Capital, Abuja with the support and protection of security agents in order to discourage and evict the #ENDSARS protesters from the streets.
This was as it was gathered that one of the governors from North Central State, whose election was bedeviled with a lot of violence is said to be coordinating the renting of political thugs mainly from states with proximity to the FCT as he was believed not to be part of the conspiracy.
The measures followed the security report implicating some leading lights among the governors of the APC said to be working in cahoots with some PDP governors.
The report according to sources close to Aso Rock indicated that some governors of the ruling APC, who are convinced President Buhari has been taken hostage by certain forces in his informal caucus have been mobilising their colleague to form a common front in ensuring whoever succeeds the President does not come from outside the rank of the present state governors.
The report it was further gathered, noted that a particular Northern governor on the platform of the APC allegedly told some of his colleagues that he commissioned a consortium of consultants who recommended that President Buhari needed to be sufficiently embattled and weakened in his final tenure to prevent him from exercising any considerable influence in determining his possible successor. The arrowed head governor who is said to have traveled abroad at the moment with a former activist from his state, who is now a serving Senator, also allegedly told his colleagues that a survey by the consultants revealed that about 93% of youths with secondary school education and above are disillusioned and bitter with the administration and the ruling party thus could become handy as easy recruits for a peaceful uprising that could disparage the Buhari administration much like the George Floyd Protests in the US which reverberated across world.
The commissioned survey it was allegedly discovered that just like in US where the minorities have much animus towards the police for their profiling and institutional racism, Nigerian youths equally detest the special branches of the police which could be used as a rallying cry to mobilise them to action.
“That is how the #ENDSARS crusade was conceived. Internet and IT experts were believed to have been recruited abroad and asked to be on standby with a view to engage in mass online mobilisation once the protests is launched.
“Simultaneously, videos of police atrocities from across Nigeria some of them as old as 10years began to flood the internet on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram among others.
It was gathered that the plan was to ignite the feeling of anger among several young people most of whom must have encountered crooked and rogue police men. This feeling of anger was believed to be sufficient to prepare the minds of the youths to support the uprising,” it was gathered.
Further checks indicated that agents were also recruited to mobilise Nigerians in diaspora in different countries to give an international flavour to the revolt and to cover their traces, the governors relying on the advice by the consultants discouraged the organisers from selecting identifiable leaders for the protests.
Besides it was also gathered that the absence of clear leaders could also served as a good excuse to frame some ambitious top politicians outside their ranks as the sponsors of the protests. However this aspect was said to have been unsuccessful following the fatal error of mobilising the protesters to cripple business at the Lekki Toll Gate believed to be a major business interest of their targeted fall guy.
Curiously, the attitude of most of the governors who either openly sympathised with the demonstrators or looked the other way was said to have alerted the intelligence agencies who felt any major player at any level of government ought to be worried that the uprising was a clear danger to the nation’s democracy.
It is learnt that diligent probing by the intelligence agencies was rewarded when one of the APC governors in the North Central betrayed the plan and said although he wasn’t deep into it, he believed that the ring leaders are four APC governors made up of two from the north and south respectively.
The governor was said to have claimed that the clique determined to prevent President Buhari from falling prey to the antics of his informal power caucus had gained a lot of pull with the governors who believe that any successor of President Buhari not endorsed by them could start hounding them after their tenures like President Jonathan did to former Governor James Ibori and some other ex-governors when he gets to power.
The report also indicated that the alliance clearly showed that the governors from both parties supporting Godwin Obaseki of Edo State to victory with Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State openly admitting that there is an unwritten code among the governors to support their own even against their own party. Same reason it was believed why the PDP Governors abandoned their candidate in Ondo last week.
The Buhari-led administration is believed to have resolved to crush the uprising with heavy hand beginning from Wednesday when the protest may have been adequately discredited with the spate of orchestrates violence.
▪︎ Additional reports by Forefront.ng