General Muhammed Buhari, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate in the 2015 presidential election, on Tuesday failed to attend the presidential rally organised by APC Diaspora Community in the United Kingdom.
Buhari arrived in London last Thursday and was scheduled to meet with the Nigerian community, APC supporters in UK and give a talk later in the week at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of Public Affairs.
However, APC supporters across the UK who converged at the Everlasting Arms Ministries Church in East London for the presidential rally, were disappointed when the party flag bearer did not turn up.
Although no reason was given for his absence, the party’s spokesman, Lai Mohammed, debunked rumours that Buhari was ill, adding that the rally was not part of Buhari’s itinerary.
Mohammed said since the APC candidate arrived in the UK, he had been meeting and consulting with political leaders, while also having some rest after his energy-sapping nationwide campaign.
He, however, assured those present that Buhari would be at the Chatham House event billed for February 26.
While speaking on the party’s manifesto, Mohammed said the APC would tackle corruption, generate employment and introduce a nine-year free compulsory education to eradicate illiteracy.
He said: “APC is committed to fighting corruption in the country by ensuring discipline, honesty, hard work and merit,” Mohammed said.
Also speaking, the APC governorship candidate for Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, tasked the Diaspora to take advantage of the upcoming elections to move Nigeria in the right direction.
El-rufai, who fielded questions on the engagement of the Diaspora in nation building, urged the people to encourage their families and associates in Nigeria to vote APC into power.
The former FCT Minister, who also dispelled rumours of Buhari’s ill health, said the APC presidential flag bearer had the requisite experience, given his age at 73, to serve Nigeria.
He said: “When nations go through trauma, they normally go for older leaders who are more tolerant, focused and prepared to create a younger generation of leaders.
“That was the case in South Africa and China.
“For Nigeria, Buhari will bring about stability and peace we yearn for.”
Also speaking, the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, told the supporters that the party’s strength was in its desire to change Nigeria.
While appealing for the Diaspora support in the upcoming polls, Odigie-Oyegun called on the international community to assist Nigeria sustain democracy.
“We are calling on our foreign friends not to help APC but to ensure that the right thing is done in Nigeria,” Oyegun said.
The Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that Buhari’s talk at the Chatham House has been scheduled for February 26 at 10am.