Police: Charly Boy’s protest group infiltrated by ‘hoodlums and criminals’

#OurMumuDonDo movement were unruly, violent - Police explains why it teargassed protesters

The Nigeria Police Force says it dispersed members of the #OurMumuDonDo movement protesting in Abuja on Tuesday because they were “exhibiting unruly behaviours capable of breaking down law and order”, having been “infiltrated by miscreants, hoodlums and criminal elements”.

The protesters, led by Charles Oputa, a popular entertainer better known as Charly boy, were calling for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari who has been out of the country on medical vacation for more than three months.

As early as 7 am on Tuesday, the protesters were teargassed by the police and attacked with water cannons. Charly boy was manhandled by the police and witnesses said he collapsed and had to be rushed out of the protest scene.

Charlie Boy
Charly Boy collapsed as a result of the tear gas by the police

However, in a statement, Anjuguri Manzah, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Federal Capital Territory, said the protesters were dispersed because they became violent and were harassing innocent passers-by.

Manzah recalled that the police provided the group with adequate security on the first day of their protest in order to “protect their rights to freedom of expression, rights to peaceful Assembly and Association, and right to freedom of movement as provided for in Sections 39, 40, and 41 of the 1999 constitution as amended”.






     

     

    “However, today 8th August, 2017 the same group assembled at the same venue but allowed miscreants, hoodlums and other unruly individuals to infiltrate the protests, who started blocking the major roads adjoining the Unity fountain, obstructing traffic and preventing movements of other innocent citizens from going to their means of livelihood, and thereby exhibiting unruly behaviours and other violent acts very likely to cause the breakdown of law and order and disturbance of public peace,” the statement read.

    “The Police personnel intervened at the point that the concerned Nigerians Group lost control of the crowd and prevented miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements from hijacking the protest to cause mayhem and chaos.”

    Manzah further stated that though the police recognises and respects the constitutional rights of citizens assemble and express themselves, it “will not allow any protest under any guise to turn violent and jeopardise the prevailing peace, law and order currently being enjoyed in the FCT”.

    He warned parents and guardians, as well as religious and political leaders, “to prevail on their children and wards, followers and adherents not to allow themselves to be used by any group to cause disturbance of public peace and break down of law and order”.

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