9 August 2017
The Senate, on Wednesday, cautioned sponsors and participants in the protests by a coalition of civil society organisations, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to resume office or resign, to stop heating up the polity with unreasonable demands.
The Senate also said President Buhari did not violate any law, as he fulfilled the requirements as stipulated by the constitution before embarking on his medical vacation in London, United Kingdom.
This came as policemen, on Tuesday, demobilised and dispersed the protesters, in Abuja, as the protest entered the second day.
Senate spokesman, Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, said the protesters were only creating unnecessary tension and seeking to divert the attention of the Presidency from the economic and security issues which were being tackled with vigour.
Abdullahi, in a statement, noted that President Buhari had complied with the provisions of the nation’s constitution, which stipulated that he must handover to the vice president and duly inform the two chambers of the legislature about his medical vacation.
According to him, “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.”
He asked Nigerians to pray for the safe return of the president, adding that the Senate was happy about the report by the governors and party leaders who recently visited him in London.
During the second day of the protest in Abuja, the police, who arrived at the venue in a convoy, reportedly fired teargas canisters at the protesters, causing some of them to sustain injuries.
In its reaction, however, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police command said it only dispersed some miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements that infiltrated the protest at Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja.
The protest had commenced on Monday, with the members of the coalition asking that the president either resumed office or resigned.
On Tuesday, the protesters had converged on the venue for one hour before the police dispersed them.
It was further gathered that the group had decided to march to the Presidential Villa before the arrival of the security agents.
Those injured in the process were said to have been rushed to a nearby clinic.
In a press statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Anjuguri Manzah, a copy of which was made available to the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, the police, however, advised members of the public 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 breakdown of law and order.
The police said they only dispersed hoodlums and those capable of causing breach of public peace, in order to avoid breakdown of law and order.
The police personnel, according to the statement, intervened at the point that the concerned group lost control of the crowd, adding that their intervention prevented miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements from hijacking the protest to cause mayhem and chaos.
While speaking, one of the organisers of the protest, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, called for the convocation of Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution by requesting for a medical examination of President Buhari to determine his suitability to remain in office.