A major showdown was, Friday, averted at the Unity Fountain, Abuja as Pro-Buhari protesters allegedly attempted to have a face-off with the anti-Buhari protesters calling for President Muhammadu Buhari’s resumption of office or his resignation if he is incapable of leading the country.
President Buhari has been in London for close to 100 days now, haven left Nigeria since May 7 for a medical treatment abroad.
However, the anti-Buhari groups under the aegis, “Resume or Resign” and ‘’OurMumuDonDo” led by the convener, Deji Adeyanju, and one of its leaders, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy respectively have been staging their protest since Monday, August 7 to ask that the President either resumes work or resigns and that he should also make public the cause of his illness.
But the counter and pro-Buhari group, under the platform of Center for Civil Society and Justice, CCSJ, and led by one Comrade Prince Goodluck Obi Nelson, argued that President should be left alone to recover fully from his ailment and continue his fight against corruption. This group began their counter protest on Wednesday.
However, what looked like a mild drama played out at the Unity Fountain, Abuja which happens to be the venue of rally and protests by the groups when the pro-Buhari group allegedly arrived the scene while the anti-Buhari groups were already there conducting their own protest.
According to Channels TV, the Deji Adeyanju and Charly Boy’s groups (anti-Buhari) assembled at the Unity Fountain first when the other group (pro-Buhari) later arrived at the scene and appeared to approach the first group, before security operatives stepped in.
Besides, In a statement signed by both Charly Boy and Deji Adeyanju and made to available to newsmen after the mild drama, the anti-Buhari group accused Aso Rock of recruiting thugs to attack them.
The statement titles, “ResumeOrResign: Aso Rock Working With Recruited Thugs to Attack Us,” the groups said, they were “reliably informed that these thugs are sponsored by the Federal Government and members of the cabal that seek to prevent us from asking for full disclosure of the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
They also alleged that “the intention behind this attack and the plan to withdrawal the police from Unity Fountain is to leave our group open to attacks. These further attacks will then be used as a foundation to issue a blanket ban on peaceful gatherings such as ours under the guise of preventing further breakdown of law and order.”
The group which said they would remain peaceful and yet “not be provoked into resorting to violence or any such activities that will violate our core principles and ethics,” also said that it is raising the alarm because, “aides to the President, the cabal and the security agencies” are “all playing the same script.”
Recall that the police had shot tear gas and water cannons at members of the Resume or Resign groups on Tuesday, a development that resulted in Charly Boy slumping while others sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital.
Although prominent Nigerians, including the Senate had condemned the act, the police had justified their actions by saying the force got intelligence information that hoodlums had infiltrated the groups.
Nevertheless, the anti-Buhari protesters have continued to stage their protests to demand that Buhari returns to Nigeria and continue his presidential duties or that he resigns if incapacitated.