The Cross River State Police Command arrested popular activist, Agba Jalingo, a human rights lawyer, James Ibor, and others while attempting to commence the June 12 protest in the state capital, Calabar on Saturday.
The PUNCH reported that Jalingo, Ibor, and other protesters were arrested by Operation Puff Adder outfit and taken to the state Police Command Headquarters, Diamond Hill, Calabar.
This is just as the operatives dispersed other protesters carrying placards about with inscriptions such as 'Buhari must go', 'Free all detained activists', 'Pantami must resign', 'After 22 years we are still out to fight for democracy,' among others.
Further reports revealed that the police took over the initial protest ground at Mary Slessor Roundabout, forcing the demonstrators to relocate to Rabana roundabout where they chanted solidarity songs before they were dispersed.
Speaking before his arrest, Agba Jalingo said, "We are on the street to mark the anniversary of June 12, 1993, annulled election and to draw the attention of the government to the hardship this government of Buhari has unleashed on Nigerians. We don't want them to close the civic space and we want to hold the government to account.
"Because of the level of Police mobilisation today, people are scared of coming out, coupled with the rain. A few of us were able to come out against the warning by the government that we should not. That is what counts."
Also speaking, James Ibor said, "Today, we are challenging the General Muhammadu Buhari-led government that has failed Nigerians and that he should either sit up or resign. Nigeria is not safe. Nigeria is the worst place to be born as a child. Nigeria is the worst place to live. Is that how he met this country?
"Nigeria for the past six years has been fighting depression. We are depressed as a nation. We are bleeding as a nation. The President has failed and he is either sitting up or resigning. Ayade has also failed. He should sit up or resign."