Protesters asking President Muhammadu Buhari to return to work or resign over 90 days after the ailing leader headed off to London for medical treatment have fired audacious warning at the executive arm of the government after the police attacked them on Tuesday.
The protesters, under the aegis of #OurMumuDonDo, started on Monday with a sit-out in Abuja, but faced police harassment on Tuesday, as they commenced their civic action.
An entertainer and rights activist, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charlie Boy, and Uyi Amadin, a security correspondent with Silverbird Television, as well as his cameraman, sustained injuries during the clampdown, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The police action against the protesters followed the statement by Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, asking Nigerians to ignore the protesters on Monday.
Similarly, on Tuesday, the Senate said the protests “were unreasonable” because Mr. Buhari had breached no law.
Mr. Buhari’s ailment remains undisclosed to Nigerians. His indefinite medical vacation is publicly funded and activists now demand the president, septuagenarian retired general, should return to work or resign.
In a statement after the police harassment Tuesday evening, Mr. Oputa said the protesters would not desist from demanding Mr. Buhari should either return to his duty or resign.
This was just as the group described the Senate as a monumental failure over the upper chamber’s failure to live up to its constitutional responsibilities by asking necessary questions on the whereabouts of Nigeria’s President.
“I am disappointed in this country. But let it be known that no amount of intimidation on us by security agencies will deter us from demanding explanations from government,” said Mr. Oputa.
“They must be accountable to Nigerians because they were elected into power by us, and, on that basis that, they will account for their actions. We are tired of the back and forth stories from the Presidency on Buhari’s whereabouts.”
Mr. Oputa then hit back at the Senate, which had earlier described as “unreasonable” the protesters’ demands.
He said: “Also, to compound the mess Nigerians are in, it is disheartening for the Senate that ought to ask questions to be the very tones supporting such show of shame.
“Indeed, the feeling out here based on their position is that they are nothing but Buhari’s errand boys. I guess the Senate is desperate to please the president. They have failed Nigerians when most needed.”
He, however, called on Nigerians to speak up by asking for the president’s whereabouts, adding that “not doing so could lead to the country’s undoing especially against the backdrop of heightening secessionist agitations presently threatening the unity of the country.”