Charly Boy won't be out on the streets anymore calling for President Buhari to resume or resign. And here's why.
The ‘Our mumu don do’ group overseen by Charles Oputa (also known as Charly Boy) has been calling for President Muhammadu Buhari to return to his work desk or tender his resignation, for well over a week now.
The Nigerian president has been away in London for a medical vacation--past the 100-day mark this week.
The constitution only empowers the federal cabinet and the legislature to take action in circumstances where a president has been away on a medical trip for longer than necessary.
The constitution is silent on the number of days a sitting president is allowed to spend out of his country while tending to his health.
Different official delegations to London have said the Nigerian leader is recuperating nicely and will return home once his Doctors grant him the permission to do so.
Bored of kicking off their protests from the Unity Fountain in Abuja, Charly Boy and co-convener of the ‘resume or resign’ demonstrators, Deji Adeyanju, had a brain wave that took them to the Wuse market—a trading outpost populated by northern Muslims who still swear by Buhari.
The Charly Boy led group drove to the Wuse market last Tuesday in a convoy flanked by two power bikes.
Charly Boy alighted from his BMW convertible coupe and made for the market gates; his cast following closely, the ‘our mumu don do’ chorus on their lips.
They should have been warned.
Out of nowhere appeared a motley crowd of counter-protesters chanting the ‘Sai Buhari’, ‘Sai Baba’ slogans.
Worse, a few of the pro-Buhari demonstrators were wielding stones and cudgels.
The Guardian reports that moment this way: “A young northern man, clearly Hausa-speaking, forced his way into the crowd to face Charly Boy directly with an aggressive and continuous chant of ‘Sai Baba! Sai Baba!’.
“The tide turned with a sudden chorus of the same chant which overwhelmed the rally. Suddenly, a large number of Hausa-speaking youths dominated the scene. Charly Boy’s attempt to calm the instigator only made him violent as he started throwing punches at Oputa.
"What followed, almost instantly, was a rain of stones on everyone, forcing the crowd, including the pro-Buhari supporters to disperse. In the process, The Guardian reporter Oludare Richards and some other journalists were hit while trying to flee the scene”.
Charly Boy could easily have been killed in the stampede that ensued as protesters and counter-protesters made for each other with all of Wuse market fleeing in different directions.
The Guardian reporter “while still being chased and dripping with blood from the wound on his face, attempted to navigate the market maze only to collide with Charly Boy who was also trying to find his way out.
“The attackers seemed positioned at every turn in the market maze to engage their targets violently. Several of Charly Boy’s followers were caught and wounded with stones.
“Charly Boy was finally able to find one of his bikers and zoomed off seated at the back while still being attacked with stones. The Guardian reporter, in his final attempt to escape from the scene, stopped and faced his attackers, shouting: “I am a journalist, check my I.D. card!”
"One of the hoodlums, appearing well dressed and educated, said: “Let me see the I. D. card!” He looked at the card very closely, looked at the reporter’s face, and then waved to his colleagues to move on.
According to the Guardian reporter: “Charly Boy, who was lucky to have escaped from the market alive, would have probably been beaten and stoned to death if he had fallen while running. Many people sustained injuries during the attack”.
Godwin Onyekwere who runs a shop at the Wuse market said: “Charly Boy came to this market with some cameramen doing his protest here. I was standing in front of my shop when I saw him running for his dear life, being chased by those youths. They nearly lynched him, because those youths almost overpowered the policemen near him.”
Charly Boy had his car windshield smashed as the demonstrators bayed for blood.
It took the intervention of the police and a shutdown of the market to prevent a complete breakdown of law and order.
It is the second time the Charly Boy group has come under attack since it commenced its sit-outs on Monday, August 7.
On Tuesday, August 8, riot police fired teargas canisters and water cannons at the group; a barrage of fumes that led to Charly Boy collapsing on the floor in a heap.
Speaking on the Wuse market attack, co-convener Adeyanju said: “About 25 of them attacked us, but before we got to Charly Boy’s car, they had vandalised it. A journalist was also injured. Charly Boy was just going round, greeting the people in the market when the boys came. First, they wanted to engage us, but we said no and tried to leave, but they attacked us.
“They attacked us with policemen last Tuesday. They tried to attack us at Unity Fountain with their government sponsored thugs. Today is Wuse Market.
“Charly Boy’s car was damaged by thugs. This is a senseless government. #ResumeOrResign.
“There are note wrappers all over Unity Fountain shared by Pro-Buhari protesters. The government says it’s fighting corruption.”
A day after the Wuse market attack, Charly Boy announced that his group has resolved to suspend the protest.
He was standing at the Unity Fountain, surrounded by members of the group.
“Only 10 people came out today”, Charly Boy lamented. “I see that this country is a country of intolerance. I have been to that Wuse market severally to do my business. What happened yesterday, shows the ugliness of our country.
“We’ve made our point. Let Nigerians judge. We’ve come to the end of this particular sit-out. We need to go back, re-strategise, because there’s a lot that is wrong with our country. There’s a lot we’ll take on, full blast. But we still insist that our president returns or resigns".
President Buhari's spokesperson, Garba Shehu, called the ‘resume or resign’ protesters "an illegal assembly stealthily organised to deliver a blow to the war against corruption."