Nearly 10,000 people in Niger attended a rally on Monday in support of opposition figure Hama Amadou’s presidential candidacy for the February 21, elections. He has been in detention since November for his involvement in an alleged child trafficking scandal.
He left the west African country in August 2014 after losing his parliamentary immunity over the allegations of trafficking between Nigeria, Benin and Niger.
In the streets of the capital, Niamey, giant portraits of Amadou were paraded.Cars of his staunch supporters also donning party colours.
“Hama is a statesman , everyone knows the ability of Hama Amadou to change things , and that’s why people are afraid of Hama Amadou. Mahamadou Issoufou is afraid of Hama Amadou, he had to leave the country to go and fight,” said one of his supporters.
Niger’s constitutional court in January approved 15 candidates for the February 21 presidential polls, including Amadou.
He has been denied bail, though several other senior political, military and business figures are facing accusations in the case.
He denied the allegations and denounced the legal process as a ploy keep him out of the elections.