OrderPaperToday – The Senate has condemned in strong terms the use of excessive force by the Nigeria Police to disperse a group of protesters in Abuja who called for the resumption of work of President Muhammadu Buhari or his resignation from office.
The group has been campaigning against the medical vacation embarked on by President Buhari for over two months.
In a statement signed by the Chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Aliyu 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.
“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 on Tuesday.”
The Senate urged the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris to review the police rules of engagement to ensure they are in tandem with international best practices.
“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 generalize and brutalize innocent protesters”
The Senate however appealed to the organisers of the protest to join other Nigerians in praying for the safe return of President Buhari.
“The protesters 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, the President complied with the provisions of the Constitution and all organs of government are not impaired nor hindered by his medical vacation,” the statement said.
It could be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari left Nigeria for London on May 7, 2017 for further medical treatment.