Nigeria Police Disperse Anti-Buhari Protesters in Abuja

Protesters carry placards to demand that ailing President Mohammadu Buhari resume work or resign in Abuja, on Aug. 7, 2017.

Photographer: PHILIP OJISUA/AFP via Getty Images

The Nigerian police used water cannons and teargas to disperse about 100 people that gathered for a second day of protests on Tuesday in the capital, Abuja, to demand the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from medical treatment abroad or his resignation.

A police team arrived as the protesters, led by civic organizations, gathered in the city center saying “there’s an order from above” to stop the march, Raphael Adebayo, one of the organizers, said. “We continued, but before we knew it they started shooting their water cannons and teargas.”

The police intervened to prevent “miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal
elements from hijacking the protest to cause mayhem,” Anjuguri Manzah, the police spokesman for Abuja, said in an emailed statement. The groups said they planned daily protests until Buhari resumed or resigned.

The 74-year-old president has been in London since May 7 for treatment of an undisclosed illness, fueling concern about his ability to see through the rest of his term that ends in 2019. A photograph released by the Nigerian presidency last week showed Buhari with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who visited him in London.

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