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World Nigeria: Police fire tear gas in ‘Democracy Day’ protests

17:10  12 june  2021
17:10  12 june  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

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Nigerian police have fired tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters in Lagos and the capital, Abuja, with reports of arrests and injuries.

a bus driving down a dirt road: A minibus drives past tear gas canisters shot by policemen during a demonstration in Lagos [Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP] © Provided by Al Jazeera A minibus drives past tear gas canisters shot by policemen during a demonstration in Lagos [Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP]

Nigerian activists had called for nationwide protests on Saturday over what they criticise as bad governance and insecurity, as well as the recent Twitter ban by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

There were also pockets of protests in Ibadan, Osogbo, Abeokuta and Akure, all in southwestern Nigeria.

The protests were the first to take place simultaneously in several cities since the #EndSARS movement against police brutality in October grew into the largest anti-government rallies in Nigeria’s modern history.

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Hundreds of protesters gathered on Saturday in Lagos, a sprawling megalopolis of more than 20 million people, and police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. The protesters carried banners and placards saying “Buhari Must Go”, calling for reforms.

a group of people standing on top of a car: Anti-riot policemen detain a protester during a demonstration at Ojota in Lagos [Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP] © Provided by Al Jazeera Anti-riot policemen detain a protester during a demonstration at Ojota in Lagos [Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP] In Abuja, a similar scenario played out as the protesters gathered as early as 7am (06:00 GMT).

A detachment of police and army broke up the crowd using tear gas, AFP news agency reporters at the scene said, adding that some journalists were harassed by the security forces.

Police had said the protests were unauthorised and AFP reporters said they saw several people being detained.

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“We cannot continue like this … all the bad governance must stop,” said protester Samson Okafor in Lagos, where tear gas canisters smouldered in the street as police shouted at demonstrators to leave the scene.

Officers were also seen smashing mobile phones confiscated from protesters, some of whom criticised the government’s decision to suspend access to Twitter after the social media platform removed a post by President Buhari.

a man holding a sign: Protesters carry placards and banners during a June 12 Democracy Day rally in Abuja [Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters] © Provided by Al Jazeera Protesters carry placards and banners during a June 12 Democracy Day rally in Abuja [Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters] Buhari, a former general first elected as president in 2015, has been under pressure over growing insecurity in Africa’s most populous nation, home to more than 200 million people.

Security forces are battling an armed uprising in the northeast, a surge in mass kidnappings and attacks by criminal gangs in the northwest, and a rise in separatist tensions in the southeast.

The government also triggered an outcry a week ago when it indefinitely suspended Twitter in the country, saying the platform was used for activities aiming to destabilise Nigeria.

Saturday’s demonstrations were called to coincide with “Democracy Day”, marking the anniversary of Moshood Kashimawo Abiola’s election as Nigerian president in 1993.

Abiola’s victory was annulled by the then military government, plunging Nigeria into months of civil unrest.

Nigeria returned to civilian rule in May 1999, but Buhari chose June 12 as Democracy Day after becoming president to honour Abiola and other heroes of the struggle.

Colombia’s protests are a product of its post-peace-deal reality .
“The peace process has opened up a space for other concerns and for other political debates.”Cali is the epicenter of the unrest that has convulsed Colombia for more than a month. A tax reform bill proposed by right-wing President Ivan Duque sparked protests in late April, with thousands responding to a call from national labor unions to push against the measure.

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