Abuja - On Sunday, armed policemen tried to disperse demonstrators who demanded for greater action from the government to secure the release of some 200 girls still in the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist sect.
About 50 police officers tried to prevent the protesters to hold the peaceful daily sit-in protest at the Unity Fountain, outside the premises of the Transcorp Hilton hotel.
Former Minister of Education Oby Ezekwesili and a former House of Representatives member, Dino Melaye, attended the venue. The meeting was held despite all the drawbacks.
Over 200 girls still remain in the hands of terrorists. It would be recalled that some 276 female students were abducted from their dormitories in Chibok town, Borno State. Boko Haram have since claimed responsibility for this crime, threatening, in one video, to sell the girls in the human market, and offering an exchange for their allies who are serving their prison time, in another.
The Nigerian government has since accpeted the international assistance in the case, while the police have offered a N50 million reward for any information that could eventually lead to locating and rescuing the girls. Nigerians, however, are not satisfied with the authorities efforts towards releasing the girls.
At first, the police pleaded with the crowd "not to take action". The protesters, however, argued there was no action, as they were just merely sitting on the grass.
Then, some policemen began shouting and threatening the crowd, demanding that the protesters stopped to film them.
Oby Ezekwesili, the former minister of education, a former vice president of the World Bank, a co-founder of Transparency International, simply said she was not going to be intimidated by the police in her own country, and not going to move from her spot, citing her democratic rights.
Ezekwesili was the first to sit, but she was soon joined by dozens of other participants. The police, both in uniforms and in plain clothes, were carrying weapons and, at one point, brought in a water cannon. This, however, did not discourage the protesters to continue their sit-in.