Some supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, clashed with members of the #BringBackOurGirls group, as the campaigners made their way to the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Security operatives had earlier tried to stop members of the group from going ahead with their planned rally to the villa. Members of the group had forced their way through a police cordon at the Three Arms Zone, as they sought a meeting with the President. But as they edged forward, a group which wanted an end to the demonstration, blocked their path, saying the President was “a man of peace” whose effort to move the nation forward should not be disrupted.
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,” members of the group chanted. A leader of #BringBackBackOurGirls group, Aisha Yesufu, said President Buhari appeared to be doing nothing to get back the 218 Chibok girls. “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 accept,” she told an online publication, Premium Times.
While the security men said the BBOG campaign was illegal because the group had no permission to protest, a member of the group, who led the protest, yesterday, Buky Sonibare, brought out copies of permits obtained from the police for that purpose. 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.