Marred President Buhari’s Visit
The visit of the President to Lagos also coincided with the day set aside for protest against alleged 400% increment in Land Use Charge paid by residents of the state by the Ikeja branch of Nigeria Bar Association.
To ensure the protest did not hold, the state government, in alliance with Lagos police command, a day before the visit, announced that there will be a blockage of all major roads and expressways, especially in the Ikeja area during the visit of the President.
The blockage of the roads early Thursday morning, the day the presidential visit began led to virtual chaos with many people walking long distances to get to their destinations while many air passengers cannot get to the airport to catch early morning flights.
The social media was flooded with complaints of suffering by the residents of the state as a result of the road blockage, with pictures showing hundreds of people walking to their various destinations.
The complaints forced the police to reverse the order on closure of roads later in the day, thus raising the question of ‘on whose order was the initial closure of road made and who ordered the reversal?’
Then, there was the presence of Naomi Campbell, an international model, during President Buhari’s tour of Eko Atlantic project in Lagos.
Campbell shook hands with Buhari and other dignitaries during the tour and the pictures of the President grinning in the presence of the international model were widely shared on social media.
But the model virtually sparked off a social media storm when she tweeted the picture she had with Buhari with the claim that she was invited by the Nigerian president to the commissioning of Eko Atlantic project in Lagos.
Clarifications by the special adviser to the President on new media, Bashir Ahmad and Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina that the British model was not invited to Lagos by Buhari did little to assuage the harsh criticisms directed at Buhari.
Again, the question to be asked is, who orchestrated the meeting between Buhari and Campbell?
Then, there is also the issue of the controversies between the Lagos State government and the presidency on the purpose of Buhari’s visit to the Eko Atlantic project site.
The President had unveiled a plaque to mark his visit to the site of the massive project.
But surprisingly, a tweet from a handle which belonged to Governor Ambode claimed the President during his visit to Lagos ‘commissioned (sic)’ the Eko Atlantic City project.
Immediately, the President’s media aide responded and debunked the claim, insisting that the president was at the Eko Atlantic City only for a tour and not for commissioning.
Though the two days visit was meant to celebrate achievements of APC government in Lagos. But at the end, it resulted in adding more to the basket of controversies involving the administration of President Buhari.