A growing number of Nigerians are calling for a boycott of The Platform, a popular annual conference known for hosting aspiring, present, and former political office holders as guest speakers.
The protesters are demanding that Pastor Poju Oyemade, who convenes The Platform, should exclude Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State from the program’s speaker lineup. They cite his past utterances regarding Christians and a perception that he is hostile to the Christian faith, as grounds for disinviting him.
Governor El-Rufai is slated to speak at The Platform, as part of a panel discussing decentralized government as a possible solution to Nigeria’s problems.
The call for his removal from the speaker list has gained momentum on Twitter, where protesters are tweeting their displeasure using the hashtag, #BoycottThePlatform.
This is happening less than two days before the program is supposed to take place.
The protests appear to have surged on Twitter after Irene Nwaukwa (@cremechic11), a popular Twitter user, questioned the presence of the Kaduna State governor on the event’s speaker lineup. In a series of tweets, she said that many Christians were “annoyed and disgusted” at the decision to have El-Rufai on the panel and that she intended to boycott The Platform “until the bigot is gone.”
Several other well-known figures on Twitter have since joined the protest, leading a large segment of the Nigerian Twitterati with them.
NBA distanced itself from the divisive Elrufai, for GOOD REASON. Apart from superintending the killing of Christians in Southern Kaduna, & his “body bags” statement, El-Rufai have no legitimacy being among a congregation of brethrens. We are unequally yoked!!#BoycottThePlatform
— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) April 29, 2021
This is the guy they are inviting to #ThePlatform?
Tomorrow, they’ll say “he was a teenager when he composed this tweet”.
— Onye Nkuzi (@cchukudebelu) April 29, 2021
Meanwhile, Mr. Poju had earlier criticized people he referred to as ‘puritans’ for dismissing politics as “a dirty game” and not wanting “their garments soiled” by it.
“They refuse to engage and sit at the same table with other people,” he said in a Facebook post. “They have become puritans.”