LEAVE BUHARI ALONE, HE VIOLATED NO LAW, SAYS SENATE
The Senate has cautioned the sponsors and participants in the protests by a coalition of civil society organizations, operating under the aegis of #OurMumuDonDo, and demanding for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari over his medical vacation in the United Kingdom to stop heating up the polity with their unreasonable demands.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate said the protesters were only creating unnecessary tension in the country and seeking to divert the attention of the Presidency from the economic and security issues which are being tackled with vigour.
The Senate noted that President Buhari had complied with the provisions of the nation's grundnorm, the Constitution, which stipulated that he must handover to the Vice President and duly inform the two chambers of the legislature about his medical vacation.
"The President has broken no law and therefore we do not see any justification for this diversion and noise making. The sponsors are merely seeking cheap publicity at the expense of the peace of Nigeria. We, in the National Assembly, are satisfied that there is no vacuum. The Federal Government is working. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is providing the required leadership. So, there is no reason for the protests.
"All Nigerians now should focus on praying for the safe return of the President. We in the Senate are happy about the report by the Governors and party leaders who recently visited President Buhari in London and we know he will soon return to continue to provide leadership to our people and the rest of Africa.
"We therefore call on the protesters to stop all these demonstrations and let their sense of patriotism overshadow the zeal for activism by joining other Nigerians to pray for the President, the acting President and Nigeria as a country at this critical period", Abdullahi stated.
Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs
SENATE FROWNS AT POLICE BRUTALITY AGAINST PROTESTERS
The Senate has condemned the action of the Nigeria Police in using force to disperse a group of protesters in Abuja campaigning against the medical vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
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.
"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 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.
Signed Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs.
POLICE ISSUES STATEMENT : WHY WE TEARGASSED CHARLY BOY, ANTI BUHARI PROTESTERS IN ABUJA
The Nigerian Police has explained why it tear-gassed anti-Buhari protesters in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the police, the protest (which was going on at the Unity Fountain) caught their attention when it started turning volatile as it has been infiltration by some hoodlums.
Here's the statement, signed by its Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manza, in Abuja
“Today 8th August, 2017 the same group assembled at the same venue but allowed miscreants, hoodlums and other unruly individuals to infiltrate the protests, who started blocking the major roads adjoining the Unity fountain, obstructing traffic and preventing movements of other innocent citizens from going to their means of livelihood, and thereby exhibiting unruly behaviours and other violent acts very likely to cause the breakdown of law and order and disturbance of public peace.
“The Police personnel intervened at the point that the concerned Nigerians Group lost control of the crowd and prevented miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements from hijacking the protest to cause mayhem and chaos.
“It is pertinent to state here that the FCT Police command is fully aware and recognizes the constitutional rights of every citizen including Our Mumu Dondo group to assemble and move freely in any part of the Federal Capital Territory, but the command will not allow any protest under any guise to turn violent and jeopardise the prevailing peace, law and order currently being enjoyed in the FCT.
“The command wishes to assure all residents and visitors to the territory of adequate security and protection of lives and property of everyone including those who choose to express their constitutional rights of protest with decorum.
“Consequently, members of the public, parents and guardians, religious/opinion leaders and other interest groups are advised to prevail on their children and wards, followers and adherents not to allow themselves to be used by any group to cause disturbance of public peace and break down of law and order,” the statement added.