There were pockets of protests across the country today June 12, which took place simultaneously in several cities including, Lagos, Abuja, Ogun, Oyo. While Nigerians celebrated democracy day, others in some states took to the streets to protest among other things insecurity ravaging the country. In Abuja, it was reported that some Nigerian Youths who stormed the Gudu junction in the Federal Capital Territory, to protest clashed with some security operatives. Some of the protesters early hours of Saturday, blocked roads in the area to decry. Policemen reportedly fired teargas at the protesters to disperse them. The disruption forced the protesters, who carried placards bearing ‘Buhari must go”, “Say no to injustice”, “33.3 % Unemployment Rate is Criminal”, “Digital Right is Human Right”, scamper for safety. However, at the Millennium Park just opposite Unity Fountain, a few individuals wearing branded T-shirts with the inscription ‘I Stand With Buhari’, ‘Nigerians say no to fake activist’, ‘Nigerians say no to violence had assembled to show support for the president.
In Akure, the state capital of Ondo State, streets in the morning were deserted owing to apprehension that gripped the people over the threat of protest as a result of the state of things in the country. Markets and shops remained shut for the better part of the day while only a few commercial vehicles were operating, cautiously.
In Osun, the state chapter of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) who had early instructed its members to boycott the June 12 nationwide protest made a u-turn on its initial decision and joined in the protest in Osogbo, the state capital, on Saturday.
It could be recalled that NANS president, Sunday Asefon, in a statement on Friday suspended its planned June 12 nationwide protest.
Also, the coalition of civil society in Osun held a massive rally against insecurity and unemployment in Nigeria.
Protesters stormed the Gani Fawehinmi Park in the Ojota area, the venue of the June 12 protest in Lagos State. Despite heavy presence of security operatives at the park, the protesters brandished different placards with inscriptions including, “Buhari must go”, “Revert electricity tariff now”, “End Bad Government”.
Despite Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu’s appeal to Lagos residents to ignore any sit-at-home order by activists, marketers in Ogba axis of Lagos, shut their stores over fear of violent clashes between protesters and security agencies.
Streets along the axis were observed to be deserted and had little to no movement and an absence of barricades. Police patrol vans were observed either packed or moving around to maintain calm in the area.