By Nkereuwem Cosmas
The action of the police in dispersing Buhari-must-go protesters with water canon and tear gas at their Unity Fountain, Maitama Abuja sit-out protest on Tuesday has been condemned by the Senate.
In a statement by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate stated that while it condemned the subject of the protest which is aimed at forcing President Buhari to either terminate his medical vacation or resign, the Upper Chamber of the Federal Legislature would not support any violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
He said: “While we are opposed to the subject of the protest, the Senate acknowledges the fact that the protesters have the constitutional right to gather and express their views in a manner that will not breach public peace, order and tranquility.
“Since the ‘Our-Mumu-Don-Do’ protesters did not conduct themselves in such a manner as to disturb public peace, it is not right for the police to brutalize the people as they reportedly did yesterday.
“The police should review their rules of engagement and ensure that they are in line with that of modern democratic societies. The police employed to protect these rights should not violate the rights of the people. Where the Police suspect that hoodlums are trying to hijack the protest, it is the duty of the Police to apprehend the hoodlums and those who break the law rather than generalize and thus brutalize innocent protesters.
“We however urge the organizers of the protest to join other Nigerians in praying for the safe return of President Buhari. They should note that any mortal being could find himself in the situation where one needs medical attention and more time to fully recuperate. More so, when in the present case, the President complied with the provisions of the Constitution and all organs of government are not impaired nor hindered by his medical vacation,” Abdullahi stated.
Also Aisha Yesufu, a member of the BringBackOurGirls movement, criticized the police harassment, noting that it is time the country moved on with or without President Buhari, whose illness should not be used to hold down the destiny of Nigerians
Yesufu called on Nigerians to join the #resume or resign protests to compel the government to do the right thing.
She said, “Buhari is not greater than Nigeria and he cannot continue to hold the nation to ransom because he is sick. I once said he should resign and allow another person to take over, it is not as if we hate him, we love him and we pray for his quick recovery. It is not about the person, but about our country: Our mumu don do”