Return of brute government: Enigma of Police attack on protesting civil society groups in Abuja

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The developmental democracy in Nigeria is beginning to get off the track of human liberties and freedom. This reflected in the echoes of assault by the Nigeria Police on actors of a coalition of civil society groups who are engaged in mass protest and advocacy for the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to resume duty in Nigeria or resign if unable to do so.

Actors in the civil society, on Monday, were led by Charly Boy, a.k.a. Area Fada, in a protest requesting that President Buhari resumes office or resigns. They subsequently, commenced ‘daily sit-out protest’ for continuous registration and sustenance of their demand on the ailing Presided who has been on vacation in London, United Kingdom. Ironically, the Police, on Tuesday, attempted to counter this action through the use of state violence; sending strong signal of the return of brute government experienced in the era of military tyranny.

National Daily gathered that the Police, on Tuesday, invaded the arena of the protest and sit-out scene spreading tear gas on the armless citizens.

National Daily further gathered that the sit-out protest and demand for the return or resignation of President Buhari is taking place simultaneously in Nigeria and London, the United Kingdom, an indication that the disaffection or discontentment of Nigerian citizens is an international issue.

It was gathered that the protesters were conducting their peaceful sit-out protest at the Millennium Park opposite the Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja, when armed policemen fired tear gas canisters to disperse them.

The civil society actors were said to remain adamant, not intimidated by the Police invasion of their venue of activities, continued with their meeting but the police suddenly shot a tear gas canister that caused one of the actors sever injury. The injured civil society activist was said to have been taken to a medical Centre at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja, a few kilometres away from the scene of the incident, for urgent medical treatment.

President Buhari proceeded on medical vacation on May 7, 2017, to London, the United Kingdom, and has spent 90 days as atMonday when the protest commenced.

Several stakeholders in the Nigerian project have expressed perturbation that the nature of the President’s ailment has remained a top secret to a group identified as cabal in the Presidency and not made known to Nigerians who voted Buhari into office, yet, millions of pounds and dollars are spent in funding the medical treatment of the President.

President Buhari had in an earlier medical vacation spent 49 days in London before embarking on another vacation which he has now spent 90 days, bringing the duration of medical vacation to 140 days.

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The coalition of civil society groups had on Saturday, issued a statement on the planned protest in Abuja and London. “Today is the 90th day since President Muhammadu Buhari left the country on a medical tourism in London,” they had noted.

“We are writing to inform the general public, local and international media, civil society groups that Mr Charles Oputa, AKA Charlie Boy, and other prominent Nigerians will be leading the Monday daily sit-out at the Unity Fountain by 10.00am.

“The flag-off of the daily sit-out will commence with a procession from the Unity Fountain to Aso Rock by 9.00am prompt.

“The London leg of the protest which is scheduled to hold at the Abuja House, London, by 11.00am (UK time) will be led by Comrade Chidi Cali, Barrister Bob and several others,” they had declared.

Apparently, the All Progressives Congress-controlled federal government may lose control of the uprising since it has taken global dimension. Thus, a better engagement approach may be more advisable for the government than violent attack on civil society actors and Nigerian citizens.

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