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DSS arrests lone protester at Presidential Villa

A human rights activist, Malcolm Omirhobo, who embarked on a lone protest at the gate of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, has been arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

According to Nigerian lawyers, Omirhobo who is a Lagos-based lawyer, embarked on the one-man protest on Wednesday to register his displeasure at the killing of 43 farmers in Zabarmari community, Jere local government area of Borno State, by Boko Haram insurgents and the government’s lackadaisical handling of insecurity in the country.

Omirhobo, who reportedly arrived the Villa Gate at about 9:00 a.m. clad in a customised T-Shirt with the legend “Stop The Genocide,” was in company of some journalists who were to cover the protest.

But despite brandishing permissions he got from the police for the protest, Omirhobo was arrested by DSS officers who, according to reports, stormed the scene in a Gestapo style.

A journalist who was at the scene said:

“An argument ensued in the process as the lawyer insisted on seeing President Muhammadu Buhari in order to tell him to stop the carnage and the senseless killing of Nigerians in the country.

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“The police put a call to one of their superior officers who appealed and pacified Omirhobo to write a formal letter if he wanted to have an audience with the President, but he refused, and insisted that it was his right to see the President even without writing him officially.

“Trouble, however, started when armed DSS officials arrived at the scene and descended on the activist and harassed the journalists covering the scene.”

Omirhobo, who addressed journalists shortly before he was whisked away by DSS, said:

“Coming on the heels of the slaughtering of 110 farmers in Borno State, I am here to tell the President that enough is enough. He should stop playing the ostrich because the government is backing all the evils perpetrated by these evil people killing innocent and harmless Nigerians.

“I am saying it categorically that the government is conniving, conspiring and assisting this crime against humanity, and that is why I am here to protest. I came here now, but the officers are saying that I cannot exercise my rights.”

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