Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Soldiers, Police, and personnel of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence, on Monday took over the AYA-Nyanya-Mararaba road, strategically positioned to stop planned demonstrations by #EndSARS protesters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
At about 9:30am when our correspondent drove through Nyanya under bridge, a handful of protesters were seen engaging with the police and soldiers peacefully, while passerbys and road side sellers looked on.
The military officers were also stationed at the popular AYA roundabout early morning, with a roadblock and barricade, at the entrances linking the service lanes on both sides of the road.
There was however altercation between Police and #EndSARS protesters at about 11am on the same Nyanya road.
Armed policemen beat up some #EndSARS protesters in Nyanya area of Abuja.
The confrontation began when the protesters waving the Nigerian flag asserted their right to demonstrate.
There appeared to be an altercation between the protesters and a group of policemen leading one of the officers to grab a club and hammered away at the protest leader.
The planned protest caused traffic gridlock on the ever busy AYA-Nyanya-Keffi road as solders were deployed ostensibly to protect the Mogadishu Barracks surroundings located on the road.
A statement issued by the Army Spokesperson Musa Sagir on Saturday noted that the exercise, scheduled to commence from October 20 to December 31, 2020, has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.
“For the records, Exercise Crocodile Smile is a yearly exercise in the Nigerian Army calendar/forecast of events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year,” the statement read in part.