Friday, January 15, 2016

Clash of interest! Different groups protest in Lagos, some for, some against PMB

Some protesters, under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Society Groups, on Thursday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly to protest against alleged refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to obey court orders. They also urged the National Assembly to impeach Buhari
if he refused to change.

However, a few minutes into the protest, another set of protesters, the All Progressives Congress Anti-Corruption Volunteers, stormed the governor’s office to support Buhari’s crusade against corruption.

They urged the president to step up the anti-corruption fight against those who had looted the nation’s resources

The protesters against Buhari displayed placards with inscriptions, ‘No to disobedience to court orders and impunity,’ ‘Obey the rule of law, say no to rule of fear,’ ‘Let there be strength in justice, and ‘Disobedience to court order is anarchy,’ among others.

The protesters, in a letter to President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, demanded the commencement of impeachment proceedings against Buhari should he continue to flout court orders and the rule of law.

The letter, signed by Innocent Agbo of the Human Rights Defenders and Advocacy Centre; Dandy Eze of Paths of Peace Initiative; Comrade Popoola of Committee for Defence of Human Rights; and Emmanuel John of the Concerned Nigerians and Centre for Democratic Rights Derivatives, warned members of the upper legislative chamber not to treat the protesters’ calls with levity.

“We reject President Buhari’s utterances during the recent Presidential Media Chat, that those granted bail by the court would not be released based on his conviction of the gravity of the offence they committed. That is not the rule of law,” the letter read in part.

The protesters lamented continued detention of some “prominent Nigerians against court order,” saying such was a call to anarchy.

But the APC anti-corruption volunteers, who went to the Lagos State Governor’s Office in Alausa, Ikeja, urged the president to continue the ongoing fight against corruption.

The group, which displayed placards and banners with messages such as, ‘Stop corruption in the judiciary,’ and ‘Probe $20bn missing in NNPC,” among others, said they were on the same page with the president.

The spokesman for the group, Mr. Adeola Adegbite, said, “We are supporting the president because it is necessary to detain suspects in order to ensure a thorough investigation.”

A statement signed by the convener of the protest, Daniel Akinlami, read, “We believe in President Buhari’s dedication to redeeming Nigeria and restoring hope to our land.”

No official of the government had met with the two groups as of the time our correspondent left the scene.”

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