Musiliu Obanikoro, the immediate past Minister of State for Defence, on Saturday insisted that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress [APC], Muhammadu Buhari, was stoned in Lagos on Friday on his way to his party’s presidential rally at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Mr. Obanikoro had posted a comment on twitter on Friday condemning the purported stoning of Mr. Buhari, suggesting that the APC candidate was so attacked.
But the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, promptly issued a statement, saying Mr. Buhari was never attacked and that Mr. Obanikoro was playing political games.
“Not once was he (Mr. Buhari) pelted with stone during the almost two-hour ride,” Mr. Mohammed said. “It is obvious that those who were paid by Mr. Obanikoro to stone the General failed to deliver. We therefore urge him to seek a refund of whatever money he paid to his hired hands to pelt Gen. Buhari with stones.
“Gen. Buhari and other top leaders of the APC rode in an open bus from the Palace of the Oba of Lagos to the Teslim Balogun Stadium venue of the rally, to great cheers from Lagosians who lined the route.
“Obanikoro’s statement on an imaginary attack on Gen. Buhari in Lagos must be his own way of saying ‘thank you’ to his masters for nominating him as minister on Friday, as his reward for ceding the governorship ticket he claimed to have won to Jimi Agbaje.”
But in a statement on Saturday, Mr. Obanikoro chided the APC spokesperson for denying the purported attack on Mr. Buhari.
“It is pointless and futile, but also does not give the APC any advantage,” the former minister said via a statement by Ohimai Amaize, his Special Adviser on Media Strategy. “When things go wrong, we must acknowledge and condemn it in order to forestall any future occurrences.”
“Senator Obanikoro, based on eyewitness accounts is aware of the stoning incident at Idumagbo area of Isale-Eko, Lagos State, and the fact that a woman was injured in the ensuing fracas after General Buhari’s security detail had to shoot into the air to dispel the irate mob,” the statement added.
The APC is yet to respond to Mr. Obanikoro’s new statement on the matter.