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    JustIn: Security Report Stopped Buhari’s Visit To Lagos, see full details here.

    There may be more to the botched working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos than his aides have told Nigerians, Independent learnt on Monday.

    Rather than the twin reasons being bandied, regarding speculated health issue ascribed to the president and purported “scheduling difficulties” offered by his media aide, Garba Shehu, as reasons for cancellation of his trip to Lagos, Independent sources hinted that Buhari was actually dissuaded from honouring the state function as a result of last minute security report purporting that there were plans to embarrass him over alleged unpopular policies of his administration.
    President Buhari, therefore, delegated his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, to be in Lagos in his stead.

    As the Lagos programmes were going on, however, the president took time off to receive Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun who on Monday visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, fueling speculations that Buhari’s last minute decision to cancel the trip had political undertone.

    The security report, according to
    Independent sources, fingered a prominent national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who is suspected to be working underground with other politicians, especially from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to form a new party, and also the uncertainty of the protesting members of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) suspending their mass action over fuel price increase as the president was billed to arrive in Lagos.

    Aside President Buhari’s administrative policies that may not be widely popular with the citizenry, it is also no secret that he may have taken some political decisions believed to have angered some influential APC national leaders, particularly from the South West.

    A top source in the presidency told
    Independent that initial security report did not favour a presidential visit to Lagos at a time when pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) per litre just increased from its initial official price of N86.50 to N145.

    “At the time, too, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) were on strike and it was not certain if the industrial action would be lifted by Monday,” explained the source in the Presidential Villa.

    Independent also gathered that the presidency was wary of the possibility that the Lagos visit may create avenue for venting of political opposition.
    “There were indications that politicians may use the angst of the moment to galvanise campaign against 2019,” the source added.

    The source drew allusions to the mass protest of 2012 after an initial hike in fuel pump price from N67 to N141 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

    Even more suspect was the plan to host the president to an open air rally at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, which security operatives warned could be infiltrated by both the NLC and sponsored touts of the opposition PDP, the source noted.

    The presidency, Independent learnt, was also warned by a South West governor not to make the trip to Lagos in person given political developments in APC and the brawl playing out in the PDP.

    According to another reliable source, the governor, said to be at loggerheads with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling party, informed the president that it would be ill-advised making the Lagos trip at the time the fuel crisis was still ongoing and speculations of political realignment between certain leaders of APC and PDP.

    “Not a few people believe that Tinubu has a hand in the current crisis in PDP. In fact, there are ongoing moves to draw people from PDP and APC to form a new party and Tinubu is believed to be very much in the know of it,” the source said.

    The source added that the state governor had informed the president that there were indications that the new alignment might use the Lagos visit to launch its popularity by inciting a mob to reject Buhari’s policies in Lagos.
    Independent also learnt that the governor hasn’t been in good relationship with Tinubu of late over some political differences and nomination of ministerial candidates for Buhari’s cabinet.

    An aide to the governor whom
    Independent reached out to on the matter denied that his principal ever made the call to dissuaded Buhari from coming to Lagos. “True, the governor enjoys close relationship with the president than any other governor in the region.

    But that story cannot be true. As I speak with you now, we are in Lagos with my principal on the visit,” the aide stated.
    He also told Independent that the relationship between his principal and Tinubu was cordial.


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