Senate frowns at police brutality against Charly Boy, others protesting Buhari's absence
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Senate frowns at police brutality against Charly Boy, others protesting Buhari’s absence

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Senate frowns at police brutality against Charly Boy, others protesting Buhari's absence

The Senate has condemned the action of the Nigeria Police in using force to disperse a group of protesters in Abuja campaigning against the medical vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate stated that while it condemned the subject of the protest which is aimed at forcing President Buhari to either terminate his medical vacation or resign, the Upper Chamber of the Federal Legislature would not support any violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians”.

The police in Abuja had used teargas and water on popular entertainer Charly Boy and other protesters, including members of the Concerned Nigerians group who had vowed to continue their protests daily until the president either returns or resigns.

One protester was reportedly injured in the fracas, even as video footage showed Charly Boy slump from the effects of the teargas. He was later revived.

Read also: You’re just seeking attention, Buhari will not resign, APC youths tell Charlyboy

Police authorities claimed they had to take such action because they feared the protest may be hijacked by hoodlums.

But the Senate said, “While we are opposed to the subject of the protest, the Senate acknowledges the fact that the protesters have the constitutional right to gather and express their views in a manner that will not breach public peace, order and tranquility. Since the ‘Our-Mumu-Don-Do’ protesters did not conduct themselves in such a manner as to disturb public peace, it is not right for the police to brutalize the people as they reportedly did yesterday.

“The police should review their rules of engagement and ensure that they are in line with that of modern democratic societies. The rights of the people should not be violated by the police employed to protect these rights. Where the Police suspect that hoodlums are trying to hijack the protest, it is the duty of the Police to apprehend the hoodlums and those who break the law rather than generalise and thus brutalize innocent protesters.

“We however urge the organizers of the protest to join other Nigerians in praying for the safe return of President Buhari. They should note that any mortal being can find himself in the situation where one needs medical attention and more time to fully recuperate. More so, when in the present case, the President complied with the provisions of the Constitution and all organs of government are not impaired nor hindered by his medical vacation,” Abdullahi stated.

 

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