Olusegun Ariyo

There was a clash of Pro and Anti Buhari protesters as the President Touched down in New York yesterday for the 76 sessions of the United Nations General Assembly

The Protesters were seen everywhere chanting different songs regarding the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari while anti-Buhari protesters were requesting a referendum  

The groups converged on Nigerian House on 42nd Street, 2nd Avenue, airing opposing views about the conditions in Nigeria and its unity.

The protests came as President Buhari began his scheduled activities for UNGA at a venue close to the Nigerian Mission.

The first group of Nigerians in Diaspora said they were there to show their support for their fatherland as world leaders assembled for the annual event.

Led by Emmanuel Duara, the group, by the name ‘One Nigeria Group,’ expressed their support for President Buhari and the indissolubility of the country.

Speaking to reporters amid chants of one Nigeria, he said: “We are the biggest country in Africa and the biggest black country in the world. Whatever is going on among tribes in Nigeria, let us sit down and settle it.”

The group members waved the country’s flag, wore white T-shirts, and displayed banners announcing progress made under this administration, their commitment to one Nigeria, and a yearning for peace and progress.

They were, however, opposed by anti-Buhari protesters who called for a referendum to determine the fate of the country.

Also speaking to pressmen, one of the leaders of the counter group, Foluso Aruleba, highlighted the various problems confronting Nigeria as a nation, asserting that there can be no peace without justice. She regretted that the Buhari administration had continued to borrow money among the declining value of the Naira.

Aruleba demanded a referendum, alleging that plans were on to invade Yorubaland, which she stated would not be acceptable.

The TakeItBack movement has however mobilised for a fresh protest at the UN headquarters on Friday when President Buhari is billed to speak. This is as Yoruba Nation and Biafra agitators had announced to embark on “mother of all protests” at the UN headquarters the same day.

The movement announced its plan to hold a protest in a statement titled, ‘Protest Call At The UN General Assembly’, by its Global Director of Mobilisation, Gbola Owoborode, yesterday.

The group listed four demands for the protest among which are: The administration should immediately free one of its leaders, Omoyele Sowore, unconditionally and drop all charges; immediate release of all political prisoners, including Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho and the over 300 #EndSARS activists still under illegal detention; an end to terrorism, kidnappings and banditry that have completely ravaged the entire country and the resignation of the President for failing to guarantee the security and welfare of Nigerians.

SPEAKING on the protest, the umbrella body of the Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua, has said the Yoruba Nation march on Friday will be historic.

The spokesperson for the group, Maxwell Adeleye, said no amount of threat by the Presidency would stop the agitators from progressing with their plan.

According to him, measures have been put in place to ensure that the march is peaceful. He said the march was organised to show to the world the ordeal, suffering and subjugation of the indigenous people of the South and Middle-belt of Nigeria in the hands of the Federal Government.

Adeleye said: “We are ready to hold a peaceful march. It will be historic and the UN Assembly will feel our presence more on that day. It will also be the mother of all protests in terms of population.

“Any attempt by the Presidency to rubbish our march will fail. We are peace-loving and we will continue to ensure that our actions are peaceful. We have no business with IPOB. However, FG should declare the real terrorists as insurgents.”

Meanwhile, President  Mohammadu Buhari had arrived new-York, united state for a high-level meeting of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Media Adviser, Mr Femi Adeshina In a statement Obtained through his verified Facebook said President Mohammadu Buhari was received at JK Kennedy International Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo; and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.

Other Nigerian officials on the ground to welcome the President were Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jeddy-Agba; his environment counterpart, Sharon Ikeazor; Director-General of National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Uzoma Emenike, among others.

Buhari would be the second head of state to address the high-level session of the General Assembly on the fourth day of the General Debates around 9:00 a.m. local time on Friday, September 24, when he would speak on the theme of the conference and other global issues.

At the ongoing General Assembly, President Buhari would join other global leaders to push for global vaccine access.

The 76th session of the General Assembly began on September 14 and will end on September 27.

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