President Muhammadu Buhari was absent at the All Progressives Congress (APC) grand rally in Lokoja, Kogi State to drum support for the candidature of Prince Abubakar Audu in the November 21 governorship election.
apc kogiThe rally, held at the Lokoja International Stadium, was also not attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo or any representative of the President, although it drew some national leaders of the party and some APC governors from the North Central.
Buhari was expected to present his party’s candidate to the electorate by raising his hand at the rally in line with political tradition.
The rally, earlier scheduled for Saturday, October 24, was shifted to yesterday after the President had reportedly asked to be excused because he was indisposed. There was, however, no official communication on why Buhari did not turn up at the rescheduled event yesterday.
Some APC members linked Buhari’s absence at the rally to the six-year-old case against the governorship candidate by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In a related development, a group calling itself Kogi APC stakeholders in an advertorial, yesterday, accused the President of vendetta against Audu.
In the advertorial signed by Elder Okpanachi Ameh Obulo, the group accused Buhari of trying to settle old scores with the governorship candidate.
“We know our President as the father of all will not give a listening ear to sycophants and fifth columnists desperately trying to force him down the path of vendetta”, it stated.
“But we are a bit apprehensive over some conflicting signals that tend to validate the speculations that there are scores to settle in high places. “The most recent was the cancellation of the grand rally planned for last Saturday in Lokoja.
“Mr. President was not able to attend and perform his traditional role of presenting the candidate to the electorate. There were reports in the media alleging that the absence of Mr. President was actually a premeditated retributive boycott”.