Nigerians who participated in the June 12 protests on Saturday were guarded by the Canada police in Toronto, Canada, with many of them donning the “Buhari-Must-Go” T-shirts.
This happened just as police shot teargas canisters and disrupted the protests home in Nigeria; in Lagos and in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while making mass arrests.
SaharaReporters obtained photographs of how the Canada police watched June 12 protesters and even exchanged pleasantries with them – a stark contrast to the police harassment and brutality experienced in Nigeria in major cities like Abuja, Lagos and Calabar in Cross River State.
“The June 12 protest was calm and cordial in Toronto; it shows the difference between a responsible government which respects human rights and a country under the tyranny of a retired Nigerian Army Major General,” a source said.
SaharaReporters had on Saturday reported that men of the Nigeria Police Force thwarted the June 12 protest in the Gudu area of the Federal Capital Territory when they stormed the area and started firing teargas canisters.
The protesters, who chanted “Buhari must go”, “Say no to injustice”, amongst other solidarity phrases, scampered for safety when the security operatives started shooting.
Journalists who were covering the protest and some of them also streaming it on Facebook Live ran for cover as the security operatives bombarded the demonstration ground.
Also, the police barricaded the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, Lagos State, where some residents had planned to stage a protest.
An Armoured Personnel Carrier was stationed at the entrance of the park while armed officers were positioned at strategic places around there.
Most residents chose to stay indoors, apparently to prevent being caught in any clash between security operatives and protesters.
Citing the rising insecurity and economic hardship, protesters had fixed June 12, Nigeria’s Democracy Day, for the protest.
But the police had repeatedly warned that protest would not be allowed in any part of the state.
Popularly known as Freedom Park, the Gani Fawehinmi Park, was where the massive Occupy Nigeria protest held in 2012.
It shook the government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Back in Abuja, the police arrested a journalist with an online newspaper, Legit.com, Samuel Olubiyo, during the June12 protest.
Samuel, upon his arrest, showed his identity card as a journalist, but he was turned down by the gun-toting policemen.
The protesters, mostly youths, who took over the junction to protest against insecurity and bad governance were dispersed with teargas canisters.
Many protesters sustained injuries while scampering for safety.