- Though it was cancelled by 2baba, the #IStandWithBuhari protest held on Monday across major states in Nigeria
- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has revealed how the ruling APC scuttled the march thatcaused tension
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has uncovered how political thugs belonging to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were used to frustrate the #IStandWithNigeria protest organized by musician 2baba and a host of others.
The protest held on Monday, February 7, 2017 without the physical presence of the musician who said he was backing out for security reasons.
A day after the protest, the PDP led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi said it was not happy with the way the APC frustrated the march using hired thugs.
“The action of APC against Nigerians who were only airing their frustrations and expressing dissatisfaction on the current state of affairs in the country was in bad taste and symptomatic of Nigeria descending into anarchy.
“For emphasis, freedom of speech, association and assembly are fundamental and are constitutional rights of citizens of this country and the police or any other security agency has no right or power to stop or interfere with the lawful and peaceful gathering under any pretext nor is it necessary for anybody or group to organize a simultaneous counter protest.
“We therefore commend the Police and other security agencies for ensuring that the Pro-Nigeria Protest took place peacefully especially in other states,” the PDP said through its spokesperson, Price Dayo Adeyeye.
The opposition party stated that the idea of the APC and its cohorts pushing hoodlums out in the guise of #IStandWithBuhari to counter the #IStandWithNigeria protest was cheap politics for selfish gains.
The party noted that the APC counter-protest was only visible in Abuja “where they could easily pay thugs to frustrate the Event.
“It is ironic that the APC leaders and members that led series of protests and demonstration against the government while they were in opposition have now turned around to prevent peaceful gathering, protest and free speech by Nigerian citizens against their government.
“We salute the courage of Nigerians who turned out in their numbers to demand for their rights in the face of intimidation and harassment by the APC and some security personnel.
“We wish to reiterate our agreement with their non-partisan, non-religious and non-cultural protest agenda and hereby further re-echo the demand for good governance and better living conditions for all Nigerians as promised by the APC,” the statement said.