The Senate has condemned the action of the Nigeria Police in using force to disperse a group of protesters in Abuja campaigning against the indefinite medical vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The development comes less than 24 hours after the upper legislative chamber cautioned the protesters, who asked the President to resume or resign over his failing health, to stop heating up the polity.
In a statement by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, 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, it would not support violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.
“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.
“The police should review their rules of engagement and ensure that they are in line with that of modern democratic societies. The rights of the people should not be violated by the police employed to protect these rights. 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 generalise 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 can 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.
For the third consecutive day, a coalition of Civil Society and pro-democracy group under the aegis of #OurMumuDonDo, staged a peaceful protest march in Abuja asking President Buhari to resume or resign his office after spending over 90 days in London for medical treatment.
Led by musician, Charles Oputa aka ‘Charly Boy’, the group explained that the leadership of the National Assembly must choose between the Nigerian people and the cabal.
At the second day of protest on Tuesday, security agents brutalised some of the protesters and journalists covering the event.