By Stanley Onyekwere
Palpable tension engulfed the atmosphere of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday when a group of protesters stormed the popular Abuja Unity Fountain for a proposed Buhari-Must-Go Rally.
It was gathered that the group, led by the Convener of #RevolutionNow and former Presidential Candidate of African Action Congress (AAC) Omoyele Sowore was resisted by a detachment of heavily armed police officers who blocked the entrance to the Fountain.
Recall that Abuja Unity Fountain, over the years had been a civic space where both anti and pro government groups as well as rights activists gather for rally. However, since the onset of Buhari’s second tenure , the place was put under serious restrictions and surveillance by security operatives.
However, a check revealed that trouble ensued when the protesters who were refused entry into the Unity Fountain, remained at the fringe of the venue and started chanting solidarity songs.
While information on Sowore’s twitter handle claim that the activist was shot by police on the lower abdomen and rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention, police debunked it, saying its officers “professionally dispersed the protesters “.
The Police was said to have fired teargas cannisters at the protesters who took to their heels, while more police officers were deployed to the place.
According to an official statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Command, Yusuf Mariam, called on residents to ignore the protesters and go about their lawful duties.
The statement reads, “ the FCT Police Command wishes to debunk the viral message in some sections of the social media purporting that ‘Omoyele Sowere was shot by a female Assistant Commissioner of Police’ at the Unity Fountain.
“ Contrary to the speculation, Police Operatives professionally restored calm at the Unity Fountain, following attempts by a group of protesters to incite public disturbance.
“The protesters who went on the ramapage were resisted by Police Operatives in order to prevent them from causing a breakdown of law and order. There is no record of such incident as at the time of this release.
“The Command enjoins residents to remain calm and law-abiding while reaffirming its commitment towards the protection of lives and property within the FCT”.