The much talked-about anti-federal government protest scheduled for today in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, did not take place, after all.
The planned protest, initiated originally by the popular Nigerian singer, Tuface, went on in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, despite Tuface backing out of it.
Throughout Monday morning, till 11.30a.m, there was no single protester at the popular Ibom Plaza, Uyo, where the protest was planned to take place.
When a PREMIUM TIMES reporter visited the plaza at about 9 a.m, people were freely going about their businesses. The amphitheatre at the plaza was completely empty.
Business owners and visitors at the plaza said they did not notice any sign of protest at the plaza.
A man watering flowers around the plaza told this newspaper that he did not see any protester in the area since he came to work by 6 a.m.
There was a police pick-up truck parked in front of a police post at the plaza. But people working or doing business at the plaza said that the police presence was a common sight in the plaza in order to scare away criminals.
A group in Akwa Ibom, Concerned Citizens, told PREMIUM TIMES that they received a police permit for the protest, but that they canceled it because of Tuface’s withdrawal.
“The permit we got from the police covered the protest that was planned by Tuface. Since Tuface announced that he wasn’t going ahead with the protest any longer, we too had to back out from it,” the group’s spokesman, John Ntekim, told PREMIUM TIMES at about 10.37 a.m.
Mr. Ntekim, however, said that some individual citizens would likely go ahead with the protest at the Ibom Plaza in the afternoon.