Some supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday clashed with members of the #BringBackOurGirls group, as the campaigners made way to the presidential villa.
The #BringBackOurGirls group is seeking the release of over 200 missing Chibok schoolgirls abducted in April 2014 by the extremist group, Boko Haram.
Members of the group had forced their ways through a police cordon at the Three Arms Zone, as they sought a meeting with Mr. Buhari.
But as they edged forward, a group of Buhari’s supporters urging an end to the demonstration, blocked their path, saying the president is “a man of peace” whose effort to “move the nation forward” should not be disrupted.
A spokesperson for the group, Idris King, described the #BringBackOurGirls group as a scam, sponsored to undermine the administration of the APC.
“We are for peace. Buhari is a man of peace,” the group chanted.
A leader of #BringBackBackOurGirls group, Aisha Yesufu, said President Buhari appeared to be doing nothing to get the girls back.
“All we are saying is #BringBackOurGirls. There is a fourth option which entails doing nothing, which seems like government’s option. That we will not be accepted,” she said.
Earlier, security operatives tried to stop members of the #BringBackOurGirls group from going ahead with their planned rally to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The new round of protest march began August 23 after Boko Haram released a video indicating the girls were alive.
The terror group said it would only exchange the girls for their members detained by the government across the country.
Although President Buhari said he would be willing to concede to the demand, the #BringBackOurGirls group said the government had not done enough to rescue the girls.
After the release of the last video, the group vowed to march to the presidential villa every 72 hours until the government makes clear what steps it was taking to get the girls back.
The #BBOG had postponed its rally from Friday to Tuesday. But shortly after they began the walk as usual from the Unity Fountain, venue of the #BBOG daily sit-out, heading for the three arm zone, they were stopped by security men around the Ministry of Justice, Abuja.
The security men comprising mainly the police said the BBOG campaign was illegal because they had no permission to protest.
But a member of the group leading the protest on Tuesday, Buky Sonibare, brought out copies of permits obtained from the police for that purpose.
However the police persisted until the #BBOG members forced their way forward.