President Muhammadu has cancelled his visit to Daura, Katsina State over the planned protest across the country in commemoration of the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.
SaharaReporters had reported that the President was expected to depart Abuja this weekend for Daura for a ‘short rest’.
Buhari had on September 26 returned from New York, United States after participating in the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76), with the theme, “Building Resilience Through Hope – To Recover from COVID-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People and Revitalise the United Nations.”
He had departed for the UN Assembly on September 19.
And shortly after returning to the country, Nigeria celebrated its 61st Independence Day Anniversary, which again took Buhari out of his comfort zone.
According to a presidential source, for a younger and healthier leader who is used to hard physical and mental work, such a hectic schedule may not be too taxing.
However, considering Buhari’s age and health, the source said he probably found the recent activities taxing enough to require some rest.
“He’s departing for Daura this weekend for home rest. He just wants to go and rest. He will return next week,” a presidential source had told SaharaReporters on Wednesday.
However, sources on Thursday said the trip has been cancelled over the planned #EndSARS memorial protests on October 20, 2021.
“The earlier trip to Daura has been stepped down over threats of the resurgence of #EndSARS memorial uprising,” one of the sources told SaharaReporters.
Taunting the President in a Twitter post, human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore said, “The FEAR of #EndSARSProtest is the beginning of WISDOM. Muhammadu Buhari has cancelled his trip to Daura where he was going to rest! But now because of #Endsars for next week, man is scared! No Rest for the wicked! #RevolutionNow #EndSARS #buharimustgo.”
Buhari had in the past claimed last year’s #EndSARS protest against police brutality was aimed at removing him from office.
He added that those who participated in the protest have made Nigeria unattractive to investors.
“This question was answered last year when there was the #EndSARS protest. You remember the young people that wanted to march here and remove me?
“Tell the young people to behave themselves and make the country safe, then we can attract real investors to the country,” he had said during an interview with Arise TV.
The #EndSARS protest, which was held between October 8 and 20 last year, was a public outcry for an end to police brutality, extrajudicial killings, extortion and abuse of power, especially by officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protest, which started peacefully, led to the disbandment of SARS by the Nigerian government.
The protest was brought to a halt on October 20, 2020, when officers of the Nigerian Army shot at the protesters, killing and injuring some of them at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.
This year, the Nigeria Police have threatened to quash any protest held in memory of the victims.