June 12: Fight breaks out among #IStandWithBuhari protesters in Abuja
An internal tussle broke out on Saturday morning amongst members of the #IStandWithBuhari protest group at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.
Leaders of the group were seen in a heated exchange of words over the sharing of monetary resources meant for organising the counter protests.
Hundreds of pro-Buhari supporters had arrived at the Unity Fountain on Saturday to show their solidarity with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The PUNCH had reported that there would be mass protests in various states across the country and in the diaspora on Saturday (today), in commemoration of Democracy Day.
Several digital flyers, widely circulated on social media on Friday, publicised meeting points in Lagos, Gombe, Calabar (Cross River), Yola (Adamawa), Bauchi, Abeokuta (Ogun), Yenagoa (Bayelsa), Port Harcourt (Rivers), Ibadan (Oyo), Ilorin (Kwara), Enugu, Akure (Ondo), Yobe, and Zaria (Kaduna).
The PUNCH also reported that security agencies, including the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Department of State Services have deployed undercover agencies to prevent a breakdown of law and order during the June 12 protests.
Findings indicate that intelligence operatives have also infiltrated the various groups organising the nationwide rallies meant to call government attention to the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Sources who confided in Saturday PUNCHon Friday said all security agencies had been placed on red alert and directed to put down any violent protest in any part of the country.
The spokesman, NSCDC, Olushola Odumosu, confirmed that intelligence operatives would be working throughout the night to ensure that the Democracy Day celebration was hitch-free.
Odumosu said the NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr Ahmed Audi, has also directed State commandants to mobilise their respective Rapid Respond Squads.
He stated, “At the moment, our men have been deployed. As we speak now, they are on patrol and that would happen throughout the night to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order. We are not leaving anything to chance. If anything is going to happen, it would start during the night.
“So, our men are on patrol alongside other security agencies. The CG has also directed all state commandants to deploy Rapid Respond Squad to contain any eventuality. They would serve as the reserve squad to those on patrol, they would serve as intervention force.”
Asked if the corps received intelligence of possible security breach, the NSCDC spokesman said the security agencies were simply taking proactive measures in view of the prevailing security situation and the agitations by secessionist groups.
Also, the Commander, Guards Brigades, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Usman, who assured residents that there would be no security breach in the FCT, stated that he was not aware of the planned rally in the federal capital, saying his men would be on duty as usual.
The Guards Brigades is in charge of the security at the seat of power and the FCT in general.
When asked if he would deploy troops to forestall possible violence during the protest in Abuja, the commander said, “If I would deploy, I won’t tell you. It’s the normal action we are taking, there would be no breakdown of law and order.”
The FCT police command spokesperson, ASP Mariam Yusuf, also said personnel would be drafted to protect residents and public infrastructure, saying, “Our men will be on the ground to protect FCT residents and public infrastructure during the Democracy Day anniversary celebration.