Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is planning a secret visit to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, this week, according to NewsDirect.NG.
Borno is the epicenter of Nigeria’s insurgency struggle.
According to a source in the Presidency, the planned visit is being kept a secret since the President is expected to elicit protests in the volatile country.
Borno and neighboring states have been targeted by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP), and many inhabitants have become dissatisfied with the Buhari administration.
Buhari promised to defeat Boko Haram before his victory in 2015, but that promise has yet to be fulfilled six years later.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which won presidential elections in the state in 2015 and 2019, has a stronghold in Borno.
“Buhari has a hidden plan to visit Maiduguri this week,” the source claimed, “but they don’t want to broadcast it to avoid a situation where Maiduguri protesters disgrace him.”
When Buhari visited Maiduguri in February 2020 to “sympathize” with the city’s population following recent Boko Haram attacks, protesters booed him.
Hundreds of demonstrators lined the road as the president’s motorcade drove by, according to a video that went viral on social media.
“We don’t like you, Buhari. We don’t need you any longer, “Some of the demonstrators were chanting in Hausa.
Many states around the country held protests on Saturday, June 12, with protestors chanting “Buhari Must Go” and decrying rising insecurity, low living standards, and other key indicators of national prosperity.
Buhari’s scheduled trip to Borno could be part of a purported Presidency effort to get the President out of the Presidential Villa, where he’s been holed up for so long, a little more, given his decreasing popularity.
The President appeared on Arise TV last Thursday and gave an interview.
He was also in Lagos for the opening of the freshly built Lagos-Ibadan Railway project.
And on Friday, he gave another interview to NTA, making contentious statements in both interviews, as is his custom.