We won’t tolerate anti-govt protests, Police insists

We won’t tolerate anti-govt protests, Police insists
February 04 18:12 2017

The Nigeria Police Force has reiterated its call on music star, Innocent (Tuface) Idibia,  and others planning to stage simultaneous protests across Nigerian cities to shelve the idea.

The Force insisted it had the powers to stop the protests, saying it might lead to a breakdown of law and order.

Tuface had recently called on Nigerians to join on him on the streets of Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Portharcourt on Monday to demand a way out of hunger and recession from government.

The force however said it learnt that apart from the protests being planned by Idibia, other interest groups were also planning a counter-protest, which might lead to clashes and attendant loss of lives.

A statement by the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said it recognised the right of the citizens to protest, but added that it was necessary for the two groups to call off their protests.

“The Nigeria Police is currently in possession of credible intelligence reports that other interest groups are equally planning to hold a counter-protest on the same day at the same places as the Tuface group. If these various planned protests are held as scheduled, there may be breakdown of law and order, with attendant loss of lives and property.

“To this end, the Nigeria Police deems it imperative to issue this press release:

“That Innocent Idibia (a.k.a Tuface) and his group are hereby advised strongly to shelve their planned peaceful protest(s) in the interest of peace and security.

“That the other opposing groups are equally advised strongly to shelve their planned counter-protest in the interest of peace and security.

“That the Nigeria Police  is prepared to employ every possible legal means for the maintenance of law and order; and for the protection of lives and property.

“Consequently, members of the public, parents and guardians, religious leaders and other interest groups are strongly advised to prevail on their children and wards, followers and adherents not to allow themselves to be used by any group to cause disturbance of public peace and break down of law and order.”

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, and the FCT Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Mustafa, had earlier on Friday warned the organisers against the planned protests, saying that they stood the risk of being arrested.

And while Owoseni later on Friday said that his command had reached an agreement with the organisers of the rally scheduled to hold on Monday, his FCT counterpart, Mustafa, had cautioned Tuface against holding a similar rally in Abuja.

He had said, “The command wants to advise the conveners of such a protest to jettison any plan of carrying out the protest on the streets of FCT as it is capable of breaching the peaceful atmosphere.”