Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Security Service, and the Nigeria Security Civil Defense Corps have beefed up security around the National Assembly complex, Abuja, over the ongoing protest organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Workers in various states of the federation, had on Tuesday begun the protest, warning the federal government to accede to the demands of ASUU in order for the academic union to reopen Nigerian universities that have been closed down for over five months.
Those who led the protest in Abuja on Wednesday included the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba; AAC presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, and the immediate past President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, among others.
They are currently leading protesters to the National Assembly as operatives of the Nigeria Police and other security agencies lead the way to ensure adequate security of lives and properties.
An officer of the Nigeria Police Force who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said they were deployed to protect protesters, especially considering the recent security threats by non-state actors to launch massive attacks on strategic places within the FCT.
He said, “We were only deployed here to protect lives and properties. It is no longer news that there are reported threats of impending attacks on the FCT. So, we’re here to make sure everyone is safe.”
The Federal Capital Territory Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Josephine Adeh, who spoke to our correspondent, said the operatives of the NPF were at the National Assembly to protect the protesters from attack, and also to curb whatever violence that may erupt during the ongoing protest.
Adeh said, “Our officers are there to protect protesters and other citizens. There is no cause for alarm. They’re there to curb whatever violence that may erupt.”
Meanwhile, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, announced that the senate had to go into a closed-door session a few minutes after the protesters stormed the National Assembly complex on Wednessday.