Security was on Tuesday morning beefed up around the Presidential Villa, Abuja, ahead of a planned protest rally by the BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) campaigners.
The BBOG campaigners are pushing for the rescue of the schoolgirls abducted from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno, on April 15.
In a statement by its Media Coordinator, Rotimi Olawale, on Monday in Abuja, the group threatened to march to the Villa on Tuesday “to engage with President Goodluck Jonathan’’.
It said the purpose of the engagement was “to convey the urgency of the girls’ rescue and to hear directly from the president on the status of the rescue efforts by security agencies’’.
The march is scheduled to begin at the Unity Fountain, located close to Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Maitama, and proceed to the State House through the Federal Secretariat. But as at 8.20 a.m. there has been heavy presence of armed security men at the two major gates leading to the Villa, apparently to forestall possible breakdown of order.
At the gate approaching from the Fire Service side of Asokoro, armed policemen and soldiers had been stationed at the traffic light junction before the usual security checkpoint. The same situation played out at the Federal Secretariat end of the entrance.
Armed policemen and soldiers from the Brigades of Guards were stationed at a spot between the Villa Gate and the access road that leads to the National Assembly. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that this is the second attempt by the group to take their protest to the Villa since the girls’ abduction.
In May, the group marched to the Villa where some top government officials, including the Minister of State for FCT, Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide, addressed them on behalf of the president.
Akinjide told them to direct their protest to terrorists and not the government, and urged them to learn from citizens of other countries who do not blame their governments for any terrorist act. (NAN)