How Alleged Pro-Buhari Supporters Attacked Charly Boy, Others in Abuja
Controversial entertainer, Charles Oputa (aka Charly Boy) survived an attack on his person yesterday when he attempted to take his “Buhari must resign or resume” campaign to the Wuse market in Abuja.
Charly Boy, 66, has been leading a band of two dozens or less to sit out at the Unity Fountain in Abuja campaigning that the president should return home from his medical vacation or quit.
He tried to mobilise traders at the market when some who obviously resented his campaign attacked him
Some of the people with him and reporters were also manhandled. There was commotion as campaigners ran helter skelter, chased by stone throwing traders.
Policemen were called in. Teargas canisters were fired before the musician and his men were rescued. Most of them were battered.
A co-convener of the campaign group, Mr. Deji Adeyanju, in a statement, said they were “attacked by known supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari while on a visit to Wuse Market”.
He said the attack was spearheaded by a member of the pro-Buhari support group, who had also been meeting at the Unity Fountain.
He said: “This attack was completely unprovoked. This is the third in a series of attacks carried out against us, using a combination of policemen and paid hoodlums.
“It is saddening that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would rather commit scarce national resources to such underhand tactics than give full disclosure regarding the health of the President.
“We reiterate commitment to remain resolute in demanding full disclosure regarding the state of health of the President.
An eyewitness, who recounted the incident, said: ”It is possibly a peep into a violent reaction that could erupt should anything happen to President Buhari.
“We were lucky to have left that place alive; we fled when things were getting rowdy and I doubt if anybody could really narrate how everything suddenly happened.
“I just looked and saw that nobody was with Charly boy who was running farther into the market; I shouted that he should change direction and run towards the gate.
“It was my media identity card that saved me but Charly Boy would have been killed because there were many determined people concentrating on stoning him.”
A trader, Abubakar Aliyu, said he saw Charly Boy being chased like a thief near his stall, adding:
“The man got what he deserved; how can any sane man come here and be wishing evil towards Buhari?”
The spokesman of the Federal Capital Territory Police, Anjuguri Manzah, said he could not speak on the incident until an official statement was ready.
“I cannot say anything, just wait for the official statement please,” Manzah stated
A former member of the House of Representatives Hon. Bamidele Faparusi, said the president needed prayers rather than the protest.
He urged the agitators to pray for the president, saying the attack on them is a sign of the unpopularity of their protests.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chief in Ekiti State, said Buhari’s resignation as being demanded would not pay anybody.
In a statement, the former lawmaker said there was no cause for alarm because from the picture of the president seen last week, “he is okay and he is only waiting for his doctors to advise him on when to return”.
He added that the country had been running well under Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Faparusi said admitted that Charly Boy and his men had a right to protest, said they did not have to force people to join them.
“Going by the constitution, Section 145 envisages that a President can be indisposed and unable to discharge his duties. This has been adequately taken care of by extant rules that such a president shall transmit a letter to both chambers of the National Assembly to empower the Vice President to discharge such duties in his absence.”
Faparusi added: “I expect Nigerians to even commend President Buhari and APC for handling the matter meticulously, taking cognisance of what we experienced when a similar situation happened under the PDP regime of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua when no letter was transmitted to the National Assembly.”