Chris Steven, Abuja
A Civil Society group, the Centre for Truth and Justice (CTJ) has alleged that Ibrahim Dankwambo, Governor of Gombe State and other top members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including Segun Mimiko, a former Governor of Ondo State are behind what it described as “sponsored anti-Buhari protests” in Abuja.
The group said it was obvious that the protest against the recuperating President was orchestrated by those who fear that once the President is fully fit and resumes duty, they will be forced to pay for their corrupt past.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Sunday, Timothy Charles, National Coordinator of CTJ said the group is aware that N300 million was paid to celebrity activists Deji, Danfulani and Charly Boy to organise the protests with a single instruction of causing civil disorder so as to portray the Buhari presidency as anti-people.
He said, patriotic citizens would have conducted themselves in orderly manner and cooperated with law enforcement to ensure their march was not hijacked, adding that same cannot be said for the #ourmumudondo protesters, whose thugs were confrontational against law enforcement agents from the start.
Charlse said it has no grudge with the protesters, saying most of them were hoodwink by the sponsors into believing that they were carrying out a patriotic action.
He said, “Another thing that these protesters are unaware of was that their sponsors have equally mobilized thugs to join the so-called protests for the sole aim of fomenting trouble”.
“The strategy is for these thugs to deliberately clash with law enforcement and then cause widespread violence, arson and looting that will eventually result in a breakdown of law and order.
“Even more worrisome is the specific request from these sponsors that the thugs must ensure there is loss of life from the protest so that they can claim that security agencies and by implication the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is killing protesters”.
He alleged that those behind the protests have tried all manners of gimmicks in the past in an attempt to throw the country into confusion but have failed”.
He said, “some of them have sponsored terrorism or militancy, depending on the region, and failed to use these to bring Nigeria down. They have now resorted to street protests under the guise that they are demanding President Muhammadu Buhari to cut short his medical vacation and resume duties.
“For those who have not noticed, we want to point out that these protesters are not new. They had held similar protests in the past under different names and with multiple excuses. What they have simply done this time is to rebrand their name into #ourmumudondo and add a few more desperate celebrity activists to their ranks; their driving ideology for causing chaos has not changed one bit.”
He said further, “to prove that these protests have motives other than the one the protesters are presenting, even the explanation by the Senate that President Buhari has not breached any rule did not suffice to educate them to desist from their foolish ways. Instead, they are heaping insults on the lawmakers simply because they could not have their way.
“Such intolerance smacks of people with a fascist bend of mind even when they masquerade that their actions were driven by a law for democracy. Unfortunately, their own brand of democracy does not accept a National Assembly.
It is true that the installment death of the corruption industry is compelling Nigerians to live within their means, which some have interpreted as hardship in the land.”
He described the protesters as mere fodders and tools in the hands of those that paid them to take to the streets, saying the CTJ warning is not directed at the protesters but at their sponsors.
He said, “We therefore warn Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko who are the brain behind the protest against the ailing President.
“Both Dankwambo and Mimiko are entitled to throw away their humanity on the altar of ambition but they must be aware that whatever position they are desperate to attain is not worth plunging the country into crisis over.
They are free to spend their money any way they want but financing urchins, riffraff and celebrity activists but truly patriotic Nigerians will not sit by and watch them plunge the country into trouble.”