Security tightened in Abuja as police disperse protesters
Of Fred Itua, Joseph Inokotong and Molly Kilete, Abuja
Abuja, the country’s capital, was closed yesterday by armed security agents, following the celebration of Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary.
Many parts of the metropolis were completely cordoned off, while in other places security guards armed with heavy goods vehicles turned back many motorists who had no real reason to be in the city.
Even then, protesters holding large placards and banners with the inscription “Buhari Must Go” stormed the Dantata Bridge along the airport road, Abuja. They set fire to used tires along the highway.
The few protesters had just gathered when heavily armed police stormed the area and dispersed them with tear gas.
For those who live on the outskirts of town, it was a day of lamentation. Many residents who gathered in large numbers in the hope of attending the parade organized in the Place de l’Aigle, found themselves trapped inside their vehicles due to heavy security checkpoints set up at various places to prevent security breaches.
There was heavy traffic from the Abuja / Keffi highway connecting Mararaba, Nyanya, Karu, Kugbo, the Abacha barracks and the popular AYA junction, where motorists were trapped and prevented from reaching the city center.
At the Kugbo military checkpoint, the road was completely barricaded by soldiers, forcing motorists to take the wrong lane. Those coming from the city center were prevented from entering the outskirts.