Unlike what was going on in some other parts of Nigeria, including Abuja, there was no protest in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on June 12, as businesses opened shops and residents went on peacefully with their normal activities.
The major roads – Oron, Wellington Bassey Way, Nwaniba, Ikot Ekpene, Aka, and Abak – in the city were busy as usual. Police and other security agencies were not seen patrolling the roads.
At Ibom plaza, the heart of the city, which is usually a strategic point for all kinds of protest, there was no sign of protest – different vendors were seen marketing their products and services.
The town campus of the University of Uyo was quiet and peaceful when a PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter visited at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Some people were playing football, while a few students sat in clusters, chattering.
“I haven’t seen a protest here since I came out in the morning,” said a POS operator on the campus.
“I am aware there’s a protest going on in Abuja and other cities, but I haven’t heard about any protest in Uyo,” a final year student in the Department of Music told PREMIUM TIMES.
“I guess it’s because the students are studying for their examinations that is why nobody is talking about the June 12 protest here,” he added.
PREMIUM TIMES spoke with Franklyn Isong, the Akwa Ibom State Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation, a non-governmental organisation known for its decades of involvement in pro-democracy protests around Nigeria.
He said the CLO in Akwa Ibom State did not want to participate in the protest.
“Protest at this moment would definitely be hijacked by the actors that are causing problems in the state, killing and maiming people,” Mr Isong said.