It was an eerie Democracy Day celebration in Abuja, the federal capital territory as most residents remain indoors due to security concerns and the heavy presence of armed security men around the city.
At the Unity Fountain, a pro-Buhari Democracy Day rally took up a huge portion of the road in a show of solidarity for the current administration.
Those in attendance said the rally was in support of what they described as progressive steps taken to restore Nigeria from failing.
Carrying banners and placards with the hashtag, ‘#IStandwithBuhari, the youth group numbering hundreds under the auspices of Youth Coalition for Development, (YCD), said the decision to make June 12 the recognized Democracy Day in Nigeria is in the best interest of the nation.
Convener of the rally, Comrade Aminu Aminu, said the mega rally was organised to recognise the strident struggles of pro-democracy campaigners that their efforts will not be allowed to go in vain.
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has done well to recognise the importance of the day.
“June 12th is a watershed in the annals of Nigeria’s democratic history. It is a day to celebrate the beginning of a consistent and ideological struggle that eventually birth a foundation for the democratic renaissance Nigeria is now building,” he said.
While commending the current administration headed by Muhammadu Buhari for giving June 12 the significance it deserves, Aminu said the president “will continue to enjoy the respect and veneration of all lovers of democracy.”
Martins Igwe, one of the organisers, described the rally as a celebration of democracy.
According to him, “the worst of democracy is the best of military “, therefore those criticizing the current administration should understand that Buhari is doing his best and democracy is a gradual process.
But there was no claim in another area of the city where an anti-government protest was holding as security men heavily descended on the protesting group.
While the democracy day mega rally group enjoyed full protection from security personnel including a helicopter hovering over the venue of the event, those in Gudu bore the brunt of it.
The security men were reported to have teargassed the protesters.
Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued at the Unity Fountain where a lone anti-government protester was attacked for carrying a ‘Buhari must go’. He was beaten up before he was rescued by security men and some organisers of the rally.
Mercy Mayi, said that she was at the rally to shoe support for the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria because “all we want is one Nigeria that is free of war.”
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