Former bodyguards of President Muhammadu Buhari who worked for him in the months leading up to the 2015 general elections, on Thursday, August 11, staged a protest to express their displeasure over their “exclusion” by those they described as “cabals in the government.”
They bitterly complained that 16 months after the 2015 presidential elections, the only reward they got for their efforts during the campaigns was N20,000 paid to them on two different occasions in January and February 2015. They alleged:
“We had never and were never given anything.”
According to Punch, some of the laid-off bodyguards could not hold back their tears as they lamented that “some cabals have hijacked the President,” and that many of the major players in Buhari’s government, who never worked for him, “are now reaping where they did not sow,” denying them access to him.
Spokesperson for the group, Badiru Olabiyi Balogun and three other members, Audu Odemeho, Kasim Abdullahi Hassan and Zubairu Idris, at a press briefing on yesterday, warned that their marginalisation constituted a security threat to the nation.
“Right now, we need Mr. President to appreciate our hard work for him. We need Mr. President to recognise the fact that we have lost everything because we championed the change agenda.
“Definitely, it is not just our exclusion that is a security threat to the country. Anything that will deny any man his dues and legitimate rights can be concluded to mean a security threat because when you don’t get your dues and what is rightly due for you, then you are opened to a lot of temptations. So, we are indeed a security threat.”
Having served President Muhammadu Buhari as his personal bodyguards during the electioneering campaign, the group stressed that they deserved to be a lot better considering the amount of work they had to do for the president to assume the office he had desired all these years.
“During the electioneering campaign, we served the current President, Muhammadu Buhari, as his personal bodyguards. That was who we were and that is what we are till now.
“One would have expected that having worked hard tirelessly and relentlessly for the President to assume the office he had desired all these years, the people that were in the forefront deserved to be recognised, compensated and remunerated, considering the volume of work and gravity of the sacrifices we had to make.”
Members of the Presidential Bodyguards, put at over 100 personnel, were said to have been drawn from the security and protocol departments and the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO).