Nigerians Protest

Nigeria Police use teargas on protesters as demonstrations rock Democracy Day celebration

*Cross-sections of Nigerians have protested over the state of the nation and widespread insecurity of lives and property, saying President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to address the country’s multifarious challenges

*Our overall economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19 ─President Buhari, GCFR

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Amid the protests featuring during the commemoration of the Democracy Day in the country, the Nigeria Police officers Saturday, June 12, 2021, reportedly shot teargas to disperse protesters in the Gudu area of Abuja, FCT, and Ojota, in Lagos.

The protesters earlier had blocked the Gudu Junction to protest against the state of the nation.

It was learnt that social activists Omoyele Sowore and Deji Adeyanju were among those leading the protest in the FCT.

Police officers disperse the protesters with teargas in Abuja, FCT   Photo: Reuters

With similar protests were held across the country Saturday, at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, which is a popular venue for protests in the country’s capital, had been shy of protesters as of 8:15a.m., reports stated.

However, at the Millennium Park just opposite the Fountain, a few individuals wearing branded T-shirts with the inscription ‘I Stand With Buhari’ were said to have pooled together.

They later embarked on a road walk to mark Democracy Day in the city.

It was gathered that the protesters in Gudu had trooped out in their numbers, carrying placards and banners with various inscriptions, such as ‘Resign from Office’.

One of their major demands, report noted, is the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.

They are asking that President Buhari resign from office.

According to them, the President has failed to address the challenges in the country, including that of insecurity of lives and property in recent times.

In a turn of event, however, as the protesters continued their protest, heavily armed policemen stormed the scene and began shooting tear gas into the air, dispersing the protest in the process.

Meanwhile, protesters failed to converge on the August 27 Stadium in Damaturu, Yobe State capital Saturday.

The protesters had been expected to converge at the stadium before taking to the streets as part of a nationwide protest tagged, ‘Buhari Must Go’.

Nonetheless, as of 9a.m. Saturday, no single protester had arrived at the venue, but there were security personnel stationed at the venue, report said.

When contacted via telephone, the Network of Civil Society Organisations and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) confirmed to Channels TV, that they are not participating because they do not know the organisers of the protest.

Meanwhile, businesses opened for their normal activities and calm was observed in the city.

Still, in Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Lagos States as the Democracy Day protests held at Mokola, in Ibadan amid heavy police presence.

As of 10a.m., the protest was peaceful as protesters continued to trickle into the venue.

Likewise, young people also gathered at the NEPA Roundabout in Akure, the Ondo State capital, and protests were held in Osun State.

In Lagos State, Debo Adebayo, popular Nigerian comedian, also known as Mr. Macaroni, has joined protesters at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in the Ojota area, the venue of the June 12 protest in the ‘Centre of Excellence’.

But earlier, report said the security operatives had dispersed the protesters who later reconverged in front of a motor park approved by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation with placards.

They chanted “Buhari must go”, while demanding good governance and end to the deteriorating insecurity in the country.

Macaroni in a chat with reporters queried why the President Buhari, who contested a presidential election at least four times before he got to power, is the same person causing pains to Nigerians.

Governor Seyi Makinde joins protest in Ibadan

Engr. Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State has joined other protesters in Ibadan to mark the June 12 Democracy Day in the ancient city.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

The governor reportedly shocked the protesters when he drove himself to the venue with little security to address them amid cheers and loud praises.

Again, the protesters were protesting over alleged bad governance, insecurity, and against the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

We have lifted 10.5m Nigerians out of poverty in two years, says Buhari

In spite of the groundswell of calls for his resignation, President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday, however, maintained that his administration has lifted 10.5million people out of poverty in in Nigeria in the past two years.

President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

ConsumerConnect reports the President, who said in his address to Nigerians on the occasion of the June 12 Democracy Day, stated: “I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace.”

“Our overall economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.

“In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.”

Buhari also noted: “I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.

“In the last one year, Nigeria and the whole world faced COVID-19 for which no one was fully prepared.”

According to the Nigerian President, his administration’s plan to lift Nigerians out of poverty is demonstrated in the National Social Investment Programme.

He declared that the programme is “a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32.6m beneficiaries are taking part.

“We now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households, identified across 708 local government areas, 8,723 wards and 86,610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT.”

Buhari stated: “Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals.

“This provides a monthly stipend of N10,000 per household.

“I have also recently approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Plan that augments existing plans to further reduce poverty in Nigeria.”

He added: “As at (of) the end of 2020, the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion Naira in loans to more than 136,000 MSMEs, through 40 participating Financial Institutions.

“I am to note that 57% of these beneficiaries are women while 27% are the youth.”

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