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Chibok girls: Rights groups attack FG as police halt BBOG protest

A gale of condemnation, on Tuesday, followed the disruption of a protest by the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners in Abuja, who were stopped by security

operatives and a group claiming to be supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari from seeing the President.

Among the human rights groups and individuals, who condemned the action of the police and the pro-Buhari supporters, were the Executive Director of the
Civil Liberties Organisation, Mr. Ibuchukwu Ezike; the Executive Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adeniran; the Civil Liberty Organisation;
a security analyst, Ben Okezie; and the Publicity Secretary of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Mr. Yinka Odumakin.

Ezike, while speaking with one of our correspondents on Tuesday, said the government had shown its lack of respect for the citizens and human rights by
deploying the police to bar the BBOG protesters.

He said, “Even if it is one person who is protesting or demanding an explanation from the leaders or the government, such a person should be afforded the
opportunity, how much more a group that has been campaigning for government to intensify effort to rescue these girls from the captivity of  Boko Haram.

“The government not listening to them shows that we have not departed from the past. And for the police to harass them, it shows that there is no respect
for human rights because the citizens have the right to protest activities of the government which they find not to be in consonance with best global practices.’’

Also, Adeniran described the government’s approach to the BBOG protest as a miscalculation, saying the police were making their cause more popular by stopping
them from seeing the President.

Adeniran stated, “The police are just making the cause of the BBOG group more popular because if they had allowed them to get to the Presidency, somebody
would have addressed them, knowing that the President himself was not available when they got there.

‘‘It is a miscalculation on the part of the government to have barred the BBOG group from getting to the Presidency; it is unnecessary; they don’t have
to stop them. They have been there for more than two years; they have not fomented any trouble. There is no reason the police should stop them.”

On his part, the President, CLO, Igho Akeregha, said Buhari was becoming tyrannical.

He said, “The continuous clampdown on the BBOG by the Federal Government is a clear sign that the Buhari administration is increasingly becoming tyrannical
and repressive.


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