Presidency Dismisses Reports on Protest against Buhari in Japan

Femi Adesina

Omololu Ogunmade in Yokohama, Japan

The Presidency yesterday in Yokohama, Japan asked Nigerians to disregard “concocted stories backed by visuals,” of claims of harassment of President Muhammadu Buhari by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the country, describing it as falsehood.

It said the group had not been found anywhere near the president since he arrived Yokohama.

A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, advised Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to ignore such falsehood.

According to him, such concocted stories, which he said were backed by spurious visuals of a protest or harassment of the president and his team, was only the stock-in-trade of hate mongers, whom he said did not realise that the rest of Nigerians had left them far behind.

Adesina said Buhari would make his appearance at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) from tomorrow to Friday worthwhile for Nigeria, submitting that no scare-mongering or sabre-rattling will detract from the outing.

President Buhari yesterday arrived Yokohama, Japan where he is billed to participate in the Seventh TICAD7 taking place in the city on August 28-30, 2019.

The president who arrived at 8p.m. Japanese time (12 noon Nigerian time), was received at the Tokyo Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama and the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Prof. Mohammed Yisa.

He arrived in company of Lagos and Kwara states’ governors, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Abdulrazak Abdulrahman.

The president will be participating in the conference for the second time, having graced TICAD6, which held in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2016.

This year’s theme of the conference is titled, “Africa and Yokohama, Sharing Passion for the Future,” and will be declared open by the Japanese Prime Minister and host, Shinzo Abe.

A statement issued on Friday by Adesina, said Buhari would deliver Nigeria’s statement at the Plenary Session Three of the conference during which he will also appraise Nigeria-Japan relations and takeaways from TICAD6.

Adesina also said Buhari would attend a state banquet and honour the invitation of Emperor Naruhito to a tea reception at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo.

Furthermore, Adesina said the president would hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe, attend some side-events and meet chief executive officers of some Japanese companies with huge investments in Nigeria.

Adesina then proceeded to explain what TICAD is all about. “Formed in 1993, the now triennial TICAD, which has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since TICAD6, according to the organisers, is the largest international conference held in Japan which ‘provides an open forum that generates innovative discussion among various stakeholders on African development.’

“Participants are drawn not only from African countries, but also international organisations, private companies and civil society organisations involved in development.

“TCAD7 is expected to focus on Africa’s ‘economic transformation and improvements in business environment and institution through private investment and innovation; promotion of resilient and sustainable African society for human security; and peace and stability in support of Africa’s domestic proactive efforts,” he explained.