Abducted Chibok Girls: Nigerian Police raid Unity Fountain, stop peaceful protest

About a hundred police officers on Tuesday stormed the Unity Fountain, Abuja, where the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement converge, to stop them from embarking on their usual protest to Aso Rock.

After a recent video of Chibok schoolgirls was released by Boko Haram, BBOG announced its decision to be marching to the villa every 72 hours until President Muhammadu Buhari briefed them of an immediate plan to rescue the girls who have been in captivity since 2014.

At the fountain, Abiodun Alamatu, a police officer, said he had orders to stop the protesters from embarking on a march.

“The way you people are taking this thing is getting out of control,” he said.

But Aisha Yesufu, a leader of the movement, expressed anger, saying they could not be barred from embarking on a march in a democratic era.

“If you were the one taken, I will stand for you, or is it because you were not taken? If it was your daughter, I will stand for you,” Yesufu said.

Later, Anjuguri Manzah, FCT police spokesman, issued a statement accusing the group of creating tension among “law-abiding citizens”.

“These indiscriminate actions, which are carried out in disorderly and sometimes riotous manner, create unwarranted tension and apprehension among law abiding citizens and in the process obstruct legitimate business activities,” he said.

“The command hereby advises any person or group of persons who wish to embark on any demonstration to notify the commissioner of police FCT in writing and secure approval.”

The recent police order is reminiscent of that June 2014 issued by Joseph Mbu, former FCT police commissioner, banning all forms of protests in the nation’s capital.

The BBOG group had sued Mbu at the FCT high court, and the court ruled in their favour, declaring that it is the constitutional right of citizens to protest.

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