The Two major personalities that were invited to speak at a rally organised on Saturday for Hamza Al-Mustapha were conspicuously absent at the event.
A former Niger Delta armed activist, Asari Dokubo, and influential Catholic cleric, Matthew Kukah, were absent at the Arewa Youth Unity Rally convened for Mr. Al-Mustapha in Kaduna. Mr. Kukah, according to the programme of event, was to deliver a keynote address at the gathering of youth from 19 northern states and Abuja.
Mr. Al-Mustapha was recently released from prison after the Court of Appeal ruled that he was innocent of charges of murder of Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola. The Lagos State Government has appealed the ruling.
Saturday’s much publicized rally has undergone criticism from many northern politicians who view the alliance of Messrs Dokubo and Al-Mustapha as a hidden ploy to drum up support for President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of 2015 elections. Mr. Dokubo has publicly stated his view that Mr. Jonathan must be re-elected as president in 2015 for there to be peace in the Niger Delta and Nigeria.
While addressing the several hundred youth gathered at the Murtala Square, Mr. Al-Mustapha said the purpose of the rally has been misunderstood.Continue reading