AS ‘Buhari must go’ protests were held in some states of the federation to mark Democracy Day, supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari, who stormed Unity Fountain, Abuja on Saturday morning, to counter any anti-government protest, fought over the sharing of money believed to have been offered them for their services.
This was just as the anti-Buhari protested rocked some states in the southern part of the country, paralysing commercial and social activities in states like Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun and others.
Eyewitnesses said leaders of the group were locked in a heated exchange over the sharing of the money given for organising the counter protests.
The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, had been plunged into palpable tension over the protests in major parts of the city.
One of the pro-Buhari protesters told newsmen in anger that people were paid between N1,000 and N2,000 to join demonstrations against the June 12 protest and that the organisers were unwilling to redeem their pledge of monetary benefit.
He said altercation broke out as a result of the failure to redeem the promised money. Abdul Yusuf, who was part of the pro-Buhari counter-protest, said in Pidgin English, that he was invited to Unity Fountain, the venue of the protest in Abuja, by one Mohammed Garuba. “I dey for my area when they called me to come and protest. They promised to pay us N2, 000, some N1, 500 and N1, 000,” he said.
He added that he would not have put on the ‘#I stand with Buhari’ branded shirt he was wearing if he had not been promised money.