Maverrick singer and social crusader, Charles Oputa (a.k.a. Charly boy), has said that the attack on him and others at Wuse Market was sponsored.He said: "I don't think we will stop this protest soon because this is a fight for the Nigeria of our dreams. And I keep saying that until the youths wake up from their sleep, nothing is ever going to change. So, till they decide whether they want a country or they want to go down with the country because we are definitely going down if we don't do something quick and fast."I want the government to be more responsible. I want the government to be more sensitive to the people it claims to serve."
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, as well as a human rights group, Centre For Leadership Trust and Moral Rectitude, has condemned the attack.While Fayose described it as the height of dictatorship and demonstration of intolerance, the group said it was an unwarranted display of brute force by the Nigeria Police against Oputa and members of his group.
In a statement by Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said that any attempt to silence Nigerians, especially those opposed to the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government, would fail.
The group in a statement signed by its Director-General, Mr. Innocent Ezeugo, called on Nigerians to rise up against this clampdown on them by the police, insisting that the hottest places of hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality.
In another development, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. Samson Ayokunle, has said Nigerians should stop playing politics with the health of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ayokunle, who spoke with newsmen yesterday at the Chapel of Freedom International in Lokoja, said Nigerians should leave out sentiments and pray more for the quick recovery of Buhari who is currently in London on medical vacation.
The CAN president also spoke on the ongoing strike by university lecturers, urging them to dialogue with the Federal Government to quickly resolve the dispute.
In the same vein, a group of Nigerians living overseas under the aegis of Nigerians In Diaspora Monitoring Group (NIDMG), has condemned the alleged invasion of Wuse Market in Abuja. They said the protests, which were allegedly being sponsored by "vested interests," constituted grave dangers to Nigeria's stability more than other ongoing existential threats.
The spokesperson of NIDMG (United Kingdom Chapter), Dr. Ibukun Ola, in an electronic statement sent to reporters in Abuja, said such protests were already stoking tension at home and disturbing the peace of those abroad for fear of breakdown of law and order in Nigeria.
Another pro-Buhari group, the Niger Delta Buhari Supporters, yesterday held a mass protest from the Unity Fountain to the Presidential Villa.Convener of the protest, Chief Jonny Michael, who said the constitution does not punish anyone for being sick, or rather require the President to either be removed from office or voluntarily resign from his office due to sickness, stressed that the absence of the President due to his ill-health was a cause for concern to every well-meaning Nigerian, adding that Nigerians should pray for him to speedily regain his good health.