President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday ignored the BringBackOurGirls campaigners who marched towards his office to seek the release of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.
The snub was the second from the president since the girls were seized six months ago.
The protesters announced Monday they will meet the president Tuesday after their first attempt in May failed as police barred them from reaching the Aso Rock presidential villa.
The team was halted at the Eagles Square before a presidential delegation, led by the government’s secretary, Pius Anyim, addressed them.
This time, October 14, exactly six months after armed insurgents burst into the Chibok school compound and took hundreds of girls hostage, the campaigners said they will “engage with” the president and urge a speedy rescue of the girls.
Early Tuesday, the government stepped up security around the villa with armed officers stationed at strategic locations to wade off protesters.
The march was scheduled to begin at Unity Fountain, located close to Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Maitama, and to proceed to the State House through the Federal Secretariat.
But by 8.20 a.m., the government deployed a large team of armed officers at the two major gates leading to the Villa, apparently to forestall possible breakdown of order.
At the gate approaching from the Fire Service side of Asokoro, armed policemen and soldiers were stationed at the traffic light junction before the usual security checkpoint.
There were similar deployments at the federal secretariat end of the entrance.
Armed police officers and soldiers from the Brigades of Guards were stationed at a spot between the Villa Gate and the access road that leads to the National Assembly.
By late afternoon, campaigners marched through streets to the president’s office but were stopped at Yakubu Gowon Crescent where the president again refused to meet them, merely despatching his female ministers to address the group.
In the team were the Ministers for Women Affairs, Zainab Maina; Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe; Environment, Laurentia Mallam, and Lands and Housinf, Akon Eyakenyi.
More details later..
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