African press review 18 May 2012
Our focus is on Nigeria where a political storm is blowing after 19 northern state governors offered strong backing to former military leader Mohammadu Buhari, in the wake of his remarks threatening bloodshed in 2015 if the government dared rig elections.
The Daily Trust runs a verbatim of what Buhari actually said as he hosted a delegation of the opposition CPC from Niger State in Kaduna this week.
“If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood". The northern governors issued a statement Thursday claiming that Bukhara’s comment was in order, observing that many eminent Nigerians had made worse comments.
“Shocker for President Goodluck Jonathan: Northern governors defend Buhari”, headlines The Punch.
“Jonathan plans to arrest me” says Buhari in comments posted in The Sun amid rumours fuelled by another interview granted to Premium Times by Buba Galadima, National Secretary of the Congress for Political Change.
The Nation publishes a fiery statement by the Presidency and the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party, describing retired General Buhari as a serial election loser and blood-thirsty politician, who is in the habit of inciting his supporters to violence.
The influential Arewa Youth Forum threw more oil on the fire when its president, Abdul Kareem Tijani suggested in an interview with Vanguard that Buhari’s outbursts are treasonable.
The Nigerian Tribune publishes Thursday's appeal by the Lagos League of Political Parties urging retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw his statement.
Some political parties are lining up behind Buhari according to The Guardian and This Day which both run articles on The Action Congress of Nigeria faulting the “baseless” verbal attack on General Muhammadu Buhari by the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Vanguard reports that the National Council for Peace and Unity has stressed the need for leaders to control their anger and sentiments at all times.
According to the newspaper, Mohamed Abba Gana, who heads the organization, has announced plans to hold public hearings in major geographical zones hoping to create a platform where people can discuss their grievances instead of venting their anger on newspapers.