Cablegate: Buhari and Anpp Hold Major Rally in Kano

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

261300Z Sep 03



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Thousands of ANPP supporters converged on Kano September
23 to attend a rally for
its Presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari. ANPP Chairman
Don Etiebet, Vice
Presidential candidate Chuba Okadigbo and Kano State Governor
Ibrahim Shekarau were
in attendance along with dozens of ANPP candidates from
throughout the country.

2. Crowds began arriving at 0800 and by 1000 Kano was "shut
down" according to
BBC's Hausa radio service. Eyewitness estimates of the crowd
range from "hundreds of
thousands" to "two million." One told Poloff that it
reminded him of Washington's
"Million Man March" and another commented that it was
"reminiscent of Buhari's
campaign rallies" held throughout the country in the run up
to the April elections. The
Buhari motorcade, arriving from his home in Daura, was held
up for two hours by the
masses lining the streets. Inside the stadium, the situation
was worse, with the crowd
pressing to get close to their candidate.

3. The rally held in spite of a statement from police
officials that the rally was "illegal
and unauthorized." Governor Shekarau overruled the police
order and urged everyone to
attend and ensure that the rally was peaceful. The only
security incidents during the rally
came when the crowd surged, sometimes trapping people in the
masses. Okadigbo
apparently fainted at one point and had to be carried away.
Others commented that they
had been "in fear for their lives" when the urge of the crowd
threatened to trample them.
Police evidently used teargas at the stadium to try to
disperse the crowd. One eyewitness
commented that he had only seen similar crowd conditions in
Mecca during the Hajj.

4. BBC and VOA Hausa services reported the rally was
peaceful and had halted business
throughout the city. This is the first public mass
opposition political gathering since the
Obasanjo government issued a ban on rallies before the April
19 Presidential elections.

5. COMMENT: Buhari had been maintaining a low profile while
waiting for his suit
calling for new elections to make its way through the
judicial process. He remains
worried that overzealous supporters could heat up the polity
and the ensuing
disenchantment with the performance of the Obasanjo
government could result in
violence, an outcome he has said he wants to avoid. Buhari
likely plans to stage more
rallies in the future but will continue to carefully choose
the venues in order to maintain
control as long as the election tribunal case (septel) is

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Pope's Visit To Iraq "A Symbol Of Hope"

The visit by Pope Francis to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul at the weekend will be a symbol of hope and an opportunity to join forces for peace and unity, the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, said on Thursday, ahead of his touchdown in the capital, Baghdad... More>>

Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Podcast: A UN Top Official’s Inspiring Journey To Leadership

UN Under-Secretary for Global Communications Melissa Fleming speaks to Agnes Kalibata, the Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit, about her journey as a woman leader – from growing up as a Rwandan refugee in Uganda to becoming Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and now a top official at the United Nations... More>>

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>