Policemen yesterday cut short the street protest by members of the #BringBackOurGirls movement as they walked along the Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja, distributing fliers to motorists and passers-by to remind them of the plight of the 219 Chibok girls that are still in Boko Haram captivity.
The policemen, numbering about 20, barricaded the road with their vehicles at the junction to the Presidential Villa, a move that enraged the activists who shouted in anger.
The #BBOG members have raised questions about the billions of naira raised for the victims of terrorism in the country through the Victim Support Fund, noting that the money was not being used to ameliorate the sufferings of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other victims of the insurgency.
The coalition members, who took off from their regular meeting point, the Unity Fountain, Maitama, after a short session, initially walked to the National Assembly gate where they flayed the lawmakers for proceeding on Christmas holidays while the abducted girls languished in the forest.
A Co-coordinator of the group, Oby Ezekwesili, said the lawmakers should be “ashamed of themselves for going on break while the Chibok girls are with wicked men in the bush.”
A police patrol team, which had been following the group from the Unity Fountain, quickly radioed for support and about three other vehicles quickly drove to the shut NASS gate.
After spending a few minutes, the #BBOG members left, but as they walked towards the Presidential Villa junction, policemen in four vehicles quickly drove to the junction and blocked it, to prevent the protesters from heading that way.
This infuriated the #BBOG members, who railed against the operatives; however, they were not deterred, as they massed at the junction and shared out fliers to motorists.