Personnel of the New York Police Department were deployed at the Nigerian House, Kudirat Abiola Corner, Manhattan, on Friday evening after members of the Yoruba Nation and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra protested against the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
A report by Tribune stated that the protesters shouted at anyone perceived to be a government official, giving the detachment of law enforcement officers a hard time keeping the crowd in check.
They were said to have hounded the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, one of his predecessors in office, Babagana Kingibe, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar, from leaving the premises.
The protesters were initially calm as they protested alongside pro-Buhari protesters on the opposite side of the road for most of the time.
The protesters accused those at the government building of being aiders and abetters of Fulani herdsmen who they accused of killing members of other tribes in the country.
It was learnt that Nigerian security agents and members of staff at the Consulate confronted the protesters, almost resulting in a brawl.
However, the police quickly arrived and created a wooden cordon around the entrance of the building.
They thereafter prevailed on the protesters to maintain their distance behind the cordon as they continued to express their anger at the state of the nation.
They carried banners with various inscriptions including: “Break up Nigeria to save lives, Buhari is a life patron of Fulani terrorists, Fulani poses an existential threat to indigenous sub-Saharan Africans”, “Fulanis are terrorists, Free Sowore, drop all charges against him”, “Stop giving loans to the Nigerian government, End Fulani terrorism in Nigeria.”
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that two Nigerian groups with conflicting ideologies confronted each other in New York over the President’s visit.
The groups had converged at the Nigerian House on 42nd Street, 2nd Avenue, airing opposing views about the issues of insecurity in Nigeria and its unity.
The One Nigeria group members carried placards on which were written, “Stronger together”, “Unity in diversity”, “Genocide in Eastern Nigeria plain propaganda”, “Nigerians want national unity, not secession”, “Nigerian Christians not targets of genocide or ethnic cleansing”.
They were, however, opposed by some anti-Buhari protesters who had been organising protests for days calling for a referendum to determine the fate of the country.
The protesters who are calling for self-determination alleged that the members of the One Nigeria Group were “fake” Nigerians hired to carry the flags and take pictures.