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APC Proposed Oversea Tour Hits Brick Wall

Gen. Mohammadu Buhari

*As UK Institutions Hesitate On Buhari’s Request For Visitation

Three decades after his government sponsored the failed abduction and illegal repatriation of the erstwhile Minister of Transport Alhaji Umaru Dikko via a cargo crate.

General Muhammadu Buhari’s proposed attempt to return to the United Kingdom as part of his global campaign circuit, received a major setback recently as most major UK and Europe based institutions have turned down his request for visitation.

Investigations indicate that the Buhari Campaign team has received sour reception from some institutions, Government and non-government organizations.

A source close to the APC chieftains revealed that a consultant working for the campaign approached the Chatam House, select members of the House of Commons, members of the EU Parliament, as well as top advocacy groups, policy makers and public opinion molders.

Further investigation indicates that the rejection is not unconnected with the poor human rights record of General Muhammadu Buhari during his reign as military head of state of Nigeria.

The APC’s Presidential candidate’s perceived link with extremist Islamic organizations as well as his propensity to instigate electoral violence did not help his case.

The U.K Foreign Office’s most recent annual report on human rights and democracy said the country would reject any ties with known despots and human rights violators.

It condemned   “the use of unlawful and arbitrary measures to target human rights defenders including enforced disappearance; house arrest; restrictions on freedom of movement, communication and association; extrajudicial detention and harassment of family members by both past and current leaders across the globe”.

However it was gathered that top APC wigs are puling all strings to seek alternative platform for the ex-military dictator. But some human rights groups are mulling the idea of instituting process that could lead to the arrest of the former dictator to answer charges on the botched extra-judicial deportation of the late Umaru Dikko.

Buhari could be charged under the popular United Kingdom Common law, which carries a maximum life sentence for ordering the kidnap and barbaric deportation of Dikko a move that sparked a major diplomatic row between Nigeria and the UK.

Lawyers also point out that that the botched kidnap also contravened the British Aviation Security Act of 1982. It would be recalled that plane designated to transport Dikko who was drugged by his abductors was waiting in the tarmac for its `consignment’ before eagle eyed UK custom officials intervened.

The planned trip coming at a time The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, David Cameron is facing severe criticism for his perceived watering down of Britain’s “ethical” foreign policy towards human rights violators and known despots.

Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, director of the campaign group Free Tibet, said recently on dealing with dictators, “Mr Cameron needs to restore our pride”.

“Mr Cameron stands up for human rights in Sri Lanka and the right of self-determination in the Falklands. He must show to the world that Britain stands up for justice everywhere.”

The APC had planned the global lecture circuit for their Presidential candidate as part of the world wide campaign to drum up international exposure for General Buhari whose relatively unpopular among members of the international community.

It was also gathered that the APC intends to use the tour to extend its ongoing campaign designed to achieving total discrediting of the president and his team in a bid to place him in a very weak position before a nation that would be clamouring for a change as a prelude to the February 14 Presidential polls.

Findings by this newspaper revealed that the plan is to portray President Goodluck Jonathan as indecisive and weak.

A specific aspect of the agenda which is the portrayal of the Jonathan presidency as anti-people and a puppet of some international agency and governments, in line with the transcript of the U.K based Burson-Marsteller PR Firm in London to boost the profile of the opposition party.

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