June 12: Agba Jalingo, other protesters arrested in Calabar
Activist Agba Jalingo and human rights lawyer James Ibor among others were arrested during a protest in Calabar on Saturday.
The June 12 protest to mark Democracy Day was held amid heavy deployment of police.
They were arrested by Operation Puff Adder outfit and taken to the state Police Command Headquarters, Diamond Hill, Calabar.
As of the time of this report, efforts were allegedly being made to bail them.
The protesters who were mainly activists led by Agba and James Ibor were later dispersed.
Before they were dispersed, they carried placards with inscriptions such as ‘Buhari must go’, ‘Free all detained activists’, ‘Pantami must resign’, ‘After 22 years we are still out to fight for democracy,’ among others.
The protesters, who were billed for the protest at Mary Slessor Roundabout, could not hold the protest because the police took over the venue.
They relocated to Rabana roundabout and went ahead with the protest, chanting solidarity songs before they were dispersed.
Speaking with our correspondent before his arrest, Agba Jalingo said, “We are on the street to mark the anniversary of June 12, 1993, annulled election and to draw the attention of the government to the hardship this government of Buhari has unleashed on Nigerians. We don’t want them to close the civic space and we want to hold the government to account.
“Because of the level of police mobilisation today, people are scared of coming out, coupled with the rain. A few of us were able to come out against the warning by government that we should not. That is what counts.”
Also speaking, James Ibor said, “Today, we are challenging the General Muhammadu Buhari-led government has failed Nigerians and that he should either sit up or resign. Nigeria is not safe. Nigeria is the worst place to be born as a child. Nigeria is the worst place to live. Is that how he met this country?
“Nigeria for the past six years has been fighting depression. We are depressed as a nation. We are bleeding as a nation. The President has failed and he is either sitting up or resigning. Ayade has also failed. He should sit up or resign.”
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