Disquiet In APC Over Buhari’s London Trip
The unannounced trip to the United Kingdom last week by president-elect Muhammadu Buhari has caused disquiet among several bigwigs in his All Progressives Congress (APC) as it is the first clear signal that he is a man of independent thinking determined to govern the Buhari way.
Sources said that not only did the President-Elect choose not to inform the party’s leadership of his intending trip, he travelled to the UK with only 2 Personal Assistants, Seriki Abba and a Mr Tunde . He was received at the door of the aircraft by High Commissioner Sarki Tafida and rode in the embassy official car to his usual central London holiday flat booked by his brother having rejected the hotel booked by the High Commission.
His friend and backer of several decades, Mamman Daura was already waiting for him at the flat and they both drove in company of Seriki Abba to No 10 Downing Street to meet with British Prime Minister, David Cameron where they discussed issues ranging from security to corruption and the immigrant crises facing Europe. Unlike his Chatham House visit with several APC bid wigs, this was done without their knowledge and the President Elect clearly needed his Buhari time.
But once APC chieftains got wind of Buhari’s departure, quite a few of them comprising the party’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi scurried off to the UK in hot pursuit of Buhari.
Indeed, Amaechi was so eager to meet with Buhari in the UK, he elected to fly in the Economy cabin of Lufthansa Airways since his last minute booking could not get him a First or Business Class seat.
Buhari, who has now elected to stay on in the UK till tomorrow night before returning within 24 hours of his inauguration as Nigeria’s next president, is said to be giving his party leaders sleepless nights.
Sources say they are rather concerned that Buhari’s penchant for keeping issues close to his chest and relying more on his old friends and backers from the North could alienate other critical members of the party who worked hard for his victory at the polls.