Presidential hopeful and publisher of a US-based online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, Omoloye Sowore, was confronted by pro-Buhari youth in Kano on Thursday, the NEXT EDITION can authoritatively report today.
The incident happened while Mr. Sowore was leaving the palace of the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, where he and his team went on a courtesy visit.
Our Kano reporter said Mr. Sowore was in the ancient city as part of his consultation towards his ambition to contest the 2019 presidential election.
While the monarch and his guest were having discussions inside the palace, our reporter said young people under the auspices of the Kano State Youth Council mobilized and waited outside the palace gates.
The pro-Buhari youth were said to have disguised as visitors to the emir and hid the placards they came with, thereby escaping the scrutiny of the palace security.
Trouble, however, started when Mr. Sowore and his team were leaving the palace and the youth charged at the convoy which consisted of four cars.
The mob started chanting pro-Buhari slogans and displaying placards disparaging Mr. Sowore and his presidential ambition.
Some of the placards read “We are not in support of Sowore,” “Sowore, you are not welcomed to Kano,” “Your anti-Buhari agenda will not work,” etc.
The youth were also shouting, “Ba ma yi, sai Buhari,” meaning “We don’t support anybody but Buhari.”
One of the protesters moved closer to Mr. Sowore’s vehicle and showed a placard with the inscription, “Sowore you must read these messages.”
As the commotion heightened, Mr Sowore’s driver manoeuvred the white-coloured C-Class Mercedes Benz car and escaped the mob.
The leader of the protesting youth and President of Kano State Youth Council, Kabiru Lakwaya, said they staged the peaceful protest to show Mr. Sowore that he would not succeed in his presidential bid.
According to him, they rejected Mr. Sowore presidential ambition because of his anti-North agenda, saying he (Sowore) is at the forefront of the clamour to divide Nigeria.
“As the youth, we don’t even know Sowore’s pedigree in the development of this country. I think he has just been employed by some unscrupulous politicians to cause distractions to Buhari’s good leadership style,” Mr. Lakawaya said.
“As far as the youth of this country are concerned, we are satisfied with Buhari’s leadership. That is why we intend to give him another chance to accomplish his mission.”
Mr. Lakawaya also vowed that they would not support any candidate except Mr. Buhari.
Another protester, Abdullahi Abubakar, a student of Bayero University Kano, also said they were not in support of Mr. Sowore’s bid because he has “hidden agenda”.
He alleged that Mr Sowore was only on a mission to divide Nigeria if gets to power, stressing that the Kano youth, who are the largest in the country would block his presidential ambition.
When contacted, however, Mr. Sowore said he was not attacked in Kano, adding that he went to Kano on the road from where he connected Kaduna and other parts of the North.
“There was no confrontation in Kano. I went to Kano by road and returned by road to Kaduna to hold a massive town hall meeting,” he replied to inquiries from this newspaper.
Prior to the 2015 presidential election, youth in some states of the North stoned the campaign team of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
In what could be said to be the most intolerant political situation in the country, Mr. Jonathan’s convoy was attacked in Adamawa, Taraba and Bauchi states.
Hundreds of youth booed and heckled a sitting president while campaigning for re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).