After an agonizing experience of the previous day, the Anti-Buhari protesters converged Wednesday, insisting that President Muhammadu Buhari’s 94 days absence has turned the country into a ‘joke of Africa’, insisting that Buhari should do the right thing by either resuming or resigning.
The day three protest which was devoid of clampdown from the Police saw protesters trickled into the Unity Fountain and kick-off the days sit-out activities, despite the morning showers while the Police observed from distance.
The scores of police personnel that invaded the venue the previous day with hot water dispensing vehicle, battle ready anti-riot police men with tear gas canisters,were replaced soldiers and sizable number of police men and horse riders.
The Police team led by Supol Hyehira was seen directing protesters to the car park and he had a hand shake with Charley Boy and other members of the “Return or Resign” group and even showed them the appropriate locate from where they could commence their days business.
Aisha Yesufu, a member of the Bring Back Our Girls group (BBOG), who joined the protesters decried the degree of intolerance from the police on the protesters, saying that the movement was just to restore sanity in the polity and ensure that President Buhari should toe the path of honour.
“When we have our policemen brought at the Unity Fountain to stop protesters from peacefully protesting and not fighting criminals, and not fighting terrorism and not fighting kidnappers, all we are doing is that we are telling the terrorists and the kidnappers that they can have a field day to come at us and attack us.
“Police women were abducted in Borno State the IG of police hasn’t said anything. He hasn’t done anything to the terrorists to get back his women that were taken away. He sends people everyday to the Unity Fountain to attack protesters, that is not acceptable.
“This is a nation where no Nigerian is more Nigerian than any other Nigerian. We all have equal footing in this country and we must be treated with respect.
“When the government says it is a government of change, it should show it in every aspect not in some areas they wanted. When we voted for change, we didn’t vote for change of initials, nor were we voting for the change of the person that was coming in, what we wanted was change in the way things were being done.
“The same President that called another President to resign if he had integrity, today that President is sick. What we are saying that the President should resign, we are not saying that we are inhuman, we are not saying that we don’t like him, we are not saying we hate him, we are just saying that he should do the right thing.
Everyday we pray for President Buhari to get better but the nation must move on.Two Hundred and something million of us cannot be held to ransom just because one person is sick. It is not about one person, it is about this country and Nigeria must work in our life time.” Yesufu stated.
The leader of “Our mumu don do” Charley Boy in his remarks said that the struggle is to salvage the nation from the hands of those that have hijacked the system and give a voice to the youths.
“There comes a time in the history of a suffering people when the status quo that has eternally failed and impoverished the masses could no longer be sustained. I am here to encourage Nigerian youths to realize that no nation is complete unless the youth has a part in it. You guys should know that nothing is for you tomorrow if you don’t fight for your today” Charley Boy said.
One of the Nollywood artist, Jim Iyke who joined the protest said that he was moved to submit himself after he watched the agonizing experience the team went through because they were demanding for a just cause.
Iyke who also addressed the protesters said, ” What we asking for is simple. We are saying collectively that enough is enough. You cannot run a country from outside another country for 94 days, it is not possible. We have turned to the caricature of the world.
“We were once the giant of Africa, we are now the joke of Africa. It is time we wake up.It is natural that when you get old, you get sick. Let a young man take over. The mantle of leadership is for the young. It has been exhibited by the West whom we emulate their democracy. It is only the truth that will set us free” Iyke emphasized.
According to Ayo Adeyanju one of the conveners, “Our Nation deserve leadership, our nation deserves the truth, and our leader must tell us the truth. They have insulted us and said that we don’t have the right to ask questions, that we are miscreants, criminal elements seeking relevance.
“The government has said that the President is a private citizen and does not owe Nigerians any explanations whatsoever. Nigeria is the only country in the world that the President will abscond for 94 days and the same government will send its aides to insult us” Adeyanju said.
Ariyo-Dare Atoye, a member of the group said that the protest was just to “invoke the doctrine of common sense” just like the Senate invoked “doctrine of necessity” in the case of late Presient Umar Musa Yar’Adua, saying that Buhari should use his common sense to step aside.”We appreciate him, we love him, but we think he should resign and let this country to function” as it is obvious that he can longer discharge the responsibilities of the office.
You may recall that the protest Wednesday turned brutal as police dispersed the protesters with tear gas, police dogs, gun shots and hot water when as they trickled in for the week long protest.
While the protesters alleged that they police told that the police told them that there was an order from above ordering that they should not be allowed to protest as government was being embarrassed by their activities which went viral and attracted international attention on the first day, while the police claimed that they were dispersed because some miscreants have hijacked the protest.