By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Pro and anti Abba Moro groups yesterday protested at the Ministry of Interior, in Abuja, chanting discordant tunes.
Our reporter gathered that while the anti-Moro protesters were calling for the sack of the Minister, Comrade Abba Moro, over the death of several unemployed youths during the recent tragic Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise, the Pro-Moro group called for understanding.
Information gathered during the protest indicated that the first group numbering about 40 stormed the ministry with tins of red paint to register their anger over the failed Immigration recruitment which claimed the lives of 17 applicants.
The protesting youths repeatedly called for the removal and prosecution of the minister and splattered red paints at the front of the ministry while shouting “murderers, murderers”.
The group led by a lady, Azania Mohammed, said they represented “Concerned Nigerian Unemployed Youths” who want justice for those who died and applicants injured during the botched recruitment exercise.
Efforts by security personnel at the ministry to disperse the youths were unsuccessful as they insisted on making some impression by writing “murderers” at the entrance of the building, precisely at the point that the minister uses when he enters office before splattering the remaining paint around the premises.
However, tension heightened when the second group led by Mr. Etuk Bassey Williams emerged from nowhere to counteract the paint-carrying opposing group.
On their part, members of the second group were appealing that the minister should be given fair hearing.
No arrests were made during the drama which lasted for about two and half hours, and the minister was not at the office at the period but the demonstrators succeeded in halting activities at the Interior Ministry as workers milled around curiously to ascertain what the mission of the youths were and how far they were prepared to go with the protest.
A detachment of civil defence personnel zoomed into the Interior ministry in an open pick-up van but by the time they arrived, the protesters had dispersed.
Reacting on the issue, the Deputy Director of Information and Media Relations in the ministry, Sir. Edwin M. E. Opara, said the ministry will study the situation and issue a statement later.