Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Why Chibok Girls Protesters Were Stopped From Villa – IG

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Tuesday defended the recent decision of the force to stop the protest train of the #BringBackOurGirls group and the parents of the Chibok schoolgirls, who were abducted by the Boko Haram sect in April 2014, from getting to the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Represented by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Labbo, the IGP spoke at the 2016 International Day of the Disappeared/Missing Persons, held at the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission in Abuja.

While responding to a question during the event on Tuesday, Labbo said the BBOG protesters were stopped on August 22 to prevent rowdiness around Aso Rock.

Together with hundreds of sympathisers who joined them on the way, the BBOG protesters had on August 22, moved towards the Presidential Villa, demanding concrete actions from the Federal Government to save the girls.

But the movement of the protesters was cut short by armed riot policemen who blocked the access road to the Presidential Villa.

Labbo explained that the police were not interested in preventing the group from meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari but that the protest train had to be stopped to avoid rowdiness around the seat of power.

He, however, said that the group would only be allowed to meet with the President through their leaders.

He said, “We sympathise with you. We did not stop you from meeting with the President. Anytime you want to see the President, you can meet with him but you have to nominate your leaders to meet with him on your behalf.

“We believe that all unions have leaders. We are at the Villa to protect the Villa and we will not allow any rowdiness around the Villa.

“Please send some delegates, two or three of them to meet with the President.

“Whenever you want to see the President, go through your leaders. They will talk and the President will listen to you because this government is always ready to listen to you.”

The BBOG, however, waved off the IG’s defence, saying it had never been rowdy or unruly in its conduct since it started its sit-outs and public marches.

“That (IG’s explanation) was just an excuse. We have never been unruly or rowdy since we started our sit-outs and protests. Our members are disciplined and we conduct ourselves in a civilised and orderly manner. The IG’s defence is tenuous,” the coalition’s spokesman, Abubakar Abdullahi, said.


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