Nigeria: Police use tear gas on anniversary of fatal protest clash
May 20, 2012 (JUBA) – Police officers in Nigeria used tear gas and pepper spray on Sunday to disperse hundreds of people commemorating the second anniversary of the death of a U.N. youth leader killed by security forces in a demonstration for democracy.
The march was called by the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC), which describes itself as “an organisation which seeks for the emancipation of the people at large”. It is not an official political party in the mould of the ruling APC, which took office in 1999.
The march, which began in Lagos and went on to Kaduna, Ogun and Abeokuta, was broken up by police at Abuja junction, but demonstrators later tried to re-establish their protest camp, despite repeated attempts by police.
Demonstrators carried flags of the ruling party and the opposing OAU party, APC.
The APC’s candidate for the May 26 local government elections in Lagos was arrested for allegedly burning an effigy of the president at a party rally in Abuja.
In Zaria, police clashed with a protest by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to mark the second anniversary of the death of Abubakar Bukola Saraki, a PDP youth leader murdered by security forces in January 2011 during a U.N. Youth Forum meeting.
More than 200 police officers were deployed by the city police commissioner to disperse the PDP protestors, using tear gas and baton rounds when police were attacked by the protestors.
The event was organised by the Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC), which describes itself as “an organisation which seeks for the emancipation of the people at large”.
It is not an official political party in the mould of the ruling APC, which took office in 1999. The youth group was formed in March 1996, with the help of Nigeria’s first democratically elected president, Olusegun Obasanjo.
The U.N.’s Special Committee on Africa’s Youth has strongly criticised Nigeria’s police force for using excessive force and excessive force during the 2011 demonstrations of U.N. Youth Forum and