Police have stopped anti-government protesters from reaching Nigeria’s presidential villa in Abuja.
The demonstrations were called across the country to protest the country’s economic crisis that has severely hit millions of families.
In Abuja, protesters marched early Monday from Unity Fountain in Maitama District, chanting songs and displaying placards, as they headed towards the presidential villa in the upscale Asokoro District.
They were met by a team of heavily armed anti-riot police personnel, who denied them entry into the Aso Rock villa.
The stranded protesters began to chant “I stand with Nigeria”.
Human rights Activist, Chidi Odinkalu who addressed the crowd, said, “We thumbed Buhari into office in 2015 because he promised to do a lot, then he got into power and he has never addressed us. When he wants to talk to us he gets into a plane travels abroad and starts gossiping about us.
“Are we so useless that our president cannot address us? Are we so idiotic that our president cannot tell us that things are hard? We don’t get answers, we don’t get empathy and we are told we cannot protest too? What kind of country is that? What kind of citizens are we?
“Who are we to be told we can only protest if police licensed us. We have the right to protest.
“On this Monday morning we don’t know where our president is. We want to know because we care. On 18 January we were told that our president was going for a 10-day vacation. Yesterday we were told he is waiting for his medical test before he will return. Last week, fake pictures of the president meeting people in London emerged.
“Last night, Femi Adesina said people can get sick; people can even die and Shehu Garba said he spoke with the president’s doctor and was told he is well. Now think about it, if the president is well, who is Shehu to speak to his doctor.
“If the president is not ill, why should people be circulating fake pictures. We don’t want the human rights of the president abused.
“This administration came into power to fight corruption and now, next to the president is the man now known as the grass cutter general of the federation.”
In conclusion, Mr. Odinkalu chanted, fire the SGF, fire the grass cutter!! And the crowd chorused in response.