Police on Wednesday averted blooded as pro and anti Stella Oduah protesters clashed around the Federal Secretariat as the two groups struggled to outdo each other in their quest to get public attention.
Former Federal Lawmaker, Dino Melaye led the anti-Oduah protest team who came under the platform of Anti-Corruption Network. The pro-Oduah protesters was a collation of groups.
Both groups displayed placards to promote their different interests. While Melaye team stated that Oduah should be sacked by President Jonathan, the pro-Oduah group stressed that Melaye and his co-travellers were being funded by opposition political parties bent on destroying officials in the Jonathan administration.
The Police effected the arrests of unruly protesters on both sides of the divide as they struggled to maintain the peace around the Federal secretariat.
Melaye, however, protested, asking the police the rationale behind the arrest of the protesters and offering to be arrested in their place.
The former lawmaker said, “When the police pension fund was stolen, we protested on behalf of the police; we were not arrested. When we protested against the theft of fuel subsidy fund, we were not arrested.
“Now that we are protesting the theft of the nation’s money by the action of the minister, who used Nigeria’s money to buy armoured cars in the midst of lack, we are under arrest. The money was not budgeted for, not appropriated.
“The protest affects everybody; the police are also affected because they are taxpayers. I’m also a taxpayer.”
Dantani Bala, who spoke with journalists on behalf of the pro-Oduah protesters said that Nigerians are not deceived by the propaganda of the likes of Melaye, who he said lost elections woefully in Kogi State as a member of the defunct ACN. He identified Melaye as a member of the APC, who is hiding under the cloak of civil rights leaders to promote falsehood.
Bala said that the Aviation Minister never involved herself in the purchase of the two cars and was not informed on the price of the cars. He wondered why the APC and her supporters masquerading as civil rights want to bend facts.
“Like other Nigerians, we are appalled at the cost of the vehicles. However, we have confirmed that the minister played no pact in the procurement process and did not ask for the vehicles. What is happening is the manipulation of information by sponsored media propagandists. We have matched Dino Melaye today and we shall match him tomorrow. Enough of these falsehood by a few Nigerians against a performing minister”, Bala said.