Some angry youths in Kano State, on Monday, hauled stones at the advance convoy of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), during an official visit to Kano.
Security had been beefed up across the Kano metropolis as the President visited the state to inaugurate eight development projects.
The President arrived at the Aminu Kano International airport in the morning and from there, he was conveyed by helicopter to the palace of the Emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero.
However, in spite of the heavy security presence mounted on the routes leading to Ahmadu Bello way where the President was to launch Galaxy Backbone Limited’s project, angry youths holding stones of various sizes and wielding sticks reportedly attacked Buhari’s convoy and helicopter as it hovered above them.
Videos circulated on social media showed the moment the irate youths pelted stones at the helicopter believed to be conveying the President.
One video showed citizens angrily struggling with some unidentified security agents while a convoy made its way through their midst.
Another video showed a road littered with stones while teargas canisters were being fired to disperse the angry mob.
Our correspondent observed as the protesting youths shouted “ba ma yi” (down with you) and ran helter-skelter to avoid being caught by heavily armed security operatives who provided security for the President and his convoy.
Besides Hotoro and a few other projects that were inaugurated, the President’s chopper was parked at the Emir’s palace, from where he proceeded to Kumbotso Local Government to inaugurate the 10 megawatts solar power projects.
However, the President’s trip to Kumbotso did not record any attack by any mob, as he was sandwiched by security operatives, who comprised heavily armed soldiers aboard motorised Toyota Hilux and was also supported by armed mobile police special forces.
The Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, had recently in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, asked Buhari to postpone his planned trip to inaugurate some projects in the state.
Ganduje said in the statement that the naira redesign and January 31 deadline for old notes had brought hardship on residents of the state, adding that the development made people angry.
“Deeply concerned with the hardship caused by the limited time given for halting the use of old naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and for security reasons, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje reveals that the state resolved and wrote to the presidency that the visit of the president to commission some projects to be postponed,” the statement said in part.
However, Ganduje, while speaking to journalists after a meeting with Buhari in Katsina, expressed readiness to receive the president to commission the projects in the state.
“We are very much ready to receive him and we have a lot for him to commission, including Federal Government projects and state government projects. They are state-of-the-art projects,” Ganduje said.
Prior to the Ganduje episode, angry youths had attacked government officials when the President visited his home state in Katsina to inaugurate some projects on Thursday.
The youths were said to have staged the protest to express their anger against the hardship being experienced in the country.
The situation reportedly degenerated when the youths started throwing stones, causing a commotion that created tension in the area
Reacting to the Kano rampage, spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Senator Dino Melaye, who shared one of the videos from the reported attack, blamed it on the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
In a post, he wrote, “The fight between Tinubu and Buhari is entering a new dimension. The attack in Kano was properly coordinated and funded allegedly by Asiwaju.
“The meeting to push Buhari to submission or face sponsored attack in the north was said to be hatched in Burdillon. Me, I am busy with Atiku.”
A political activist, Deji Adeyanju, who shared another video of the reported attack, said, “They are showing Buhari and APC Shege in Kano and many northern states.”
Similarly, the PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Monday also blamed Tinubu and the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attack.
According to the party, the attack was designed to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections “and derail our democracy having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.”
The statement read in part, “The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State.
“More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari while performing his official duties in Kano.
“It should be noted that the APC presidential candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and party of their choice in the 2023 general elections.