The FCT Police command on Tuesday issued a statement on why its operatives dispersed protesters demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari resumes office or resigns if incapable of continuing his duties as president of Nigeria.
The police said the tear gas canisters shot at the group was to prevent breakdown of law and order, and disturbance of public peace in the nation's capital.
DSP Anjuguri Manzah, Police Public Relations Officer, said miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements infiltrated the protest held at Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja.
He recalled that Our-Mumu-Don-do Movement carried out their protest on Monday and were accorded necessary Police presence to safe guard public peace, and protect their rights to freedom of expression, rights to peaceful Assembly and Association, and right to freedom of movement as provided for in sections 39, 40, and 41 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
Continuing, "However, today 8th August, 2017 the same group assembled at the same venue but allowed miscreants, hoodlums and other unruly individuals to infiltrate the protests, who started blocking the major roads adjoining the Unity fountain, obstructing traffic and preventing movements of other innocent citizens from going to their means of livelihood, and thereby exhibiting unruly behaviours and other violent acts very likely to cause the breakdown of law and order and disturbance of public peace.
"The Police personnel intervened at the point that the concerned Nigerians Group lost control of the crowd and prevented miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements from hijacking the protest to cause mayhem and chaos.
"It is pertinent to state here that the FCT Police command is fully aware and recognizes the constitutional rights of every citizen including Our Mumu Dondo group to assemble and move freely in any part of the Federal Capital Territory, but the command will not allow any protest under any guise to turn violent and jeopardise the prevailing peace, law and order currently being enjoyed in the FCT.
"The command wishes to assure all residents and visitors to the territory of adequate security and protection of lives and property of everyone including those who choose to express their constitutional rights of protest with decorum"..