Chibok Schoolgirls: How Abuja police fared in #BringBackOurGirls protest

BBOG group members used to illustrate the story.

“You see that vehicle there? It is a bomb detector vehicle, we have four of them here; they can detect any bomb here.”

Hundreds of heavily armed police officers of the Federal Capital Territory command on Thursday provided security for the #BringBackOurGirls protesters in Abuja.

These police officers controlled traffic to ensure that the over 1,000 protesters march freely from the Unity Fountain in Maitama to Eagle Square, from where they were stopped from marching on to their planned final destination, the Presidential Villa.

The FCT Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, who led the police officers, said his team also came to the scene of the protest with four bomb detector vehicles.Protest pic 2

“You see that vehicle there? It is a bomb detector vehicle, we have four of them here; they can detect any bomb here,” Mr. Mbu told PREMIUM TIMES.

The controversial police boss was also very cordial with the protesters. At a point, he ordered his dispatch rider to get cold drinking water for the protesting women seated on the main road at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

Mr. Mbu told the protesters that the police was at the rally to protect them and not disturb them.

He also told some of the women carrying banners that one of the missing girls shares the same name with his wife, Hauwa Joseph.Protest Pic 1

One of the women told the police chief that that was a good reason for him and the entire Nigerian police to work hard in ensuring that the girls were rescued.

Although the protesters were prevented from going into the villa, they were met by presidential delegates who were also dressed in red in solidarity with them.

The delegation included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim; Minster of Information, Labraran Maku; Minister of Women Affairs, Zainab Maina; FCT minister, Bala Mohammed; FCT Minister for State, Olajumoke Akinjide; and presidential spokespersons, Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe.

The delegation’s spokesperson, Mrs. Akinjide, reading from a letter addressed to the protesters by President Goodluck Jonathan, said the Federal Government is appreciative and supportive of their efforts.

Mr. Jonathan told the crowd that terrorism is a global challenge, giving instances of attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Iran.

On behalf of the protesters, a former minister, Oby Ezekwesili, asked the president not compare Nigeria with other countries.

She also said that the protesters were not impressed by Mr. Jonathan’s inability to come address them himself on a very crucial issue as this.

She, however, noted that another opportunity would be availed the president, as the Commander-in-Chief, to address the protesters.

“We went out of our way that we must have this meeting with Mr. President. And the answers we have received are inadequate.

“Please let Mr. President know that the answers we received are not enough. Tell him also that he also missed a colossal opportunity to address his citizens on a crucial issue,” Ms. Ezekwesili said.

“Our proposal is: that we will demand of Mr. President another opportunity of addressing the issues that the citizens have put before him as the commander-in -chief.

“We also want the delegates to tell the president that we hold the office of the president in very high esteem,” she said.

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