Protest: Our personnel deployed nationwide but won’t trample on rights – Police assure protesters

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As the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) prepares for its two-day strike over the rising cost of living, the Nigeria Police Force has again assured that it will protect the rights of peaceful protesters.

Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said this in a Monday statement.

In a Sunday statement, NLC President, Joe Ajaero had insisted that the protest, which was first announced on February 16, would be held on Tuesday and Wednesday as planned.

Adejobi said, “The Nigeria Police Force, on the heels of the proposed nationwide protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), hereby affirms the fundamental right of all citizens of the country to engage in peaceful protest in line with extant laws.

“As such, the NPF reiterates its commitment to ensuring the rights and freedom of protesters are protected.”

Adejobi said that the police, in line with its lawful duty to maintain law and order, has deployed personnel nationwide and placed them on red alert to monitor the planned protest.

“All Commissioners of Police and their respective supervising officers have been briefed and instructed to coordinate the officers on ground in ensuring the safety and security of all participants if the protests hold as planned.

“While recognising the importance of peaceful protest, the Nigeria Police Force remains vigilant against any attempts to hijack such protests by individuals or groups of persons with sinister intents.

“Emphatically, the force, therefore, is fully prepared to respond swiftly and decisively to any unlawful activities or acts of violence that may threaten peace, public safety, and security in the event of such,” the police spokesman stated.

Adejobi reiterated that the police force has spread its tentacles nationwide to curb any attempt by some individuals who might want to leverage on the nationwide protests to create brouhaha.

He noted that such would be met with an approved legal and proportional force as the police would not allow wanton breakdown of law and order and loss of lives and property as experienced in the past.

Adejobi quoted the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun as urging the organisers to cooperate with the force and other relevant security agencies in ensuring that their protests remain peaceful and orderly.

“The Inspector-General of Police urges all participants at the proposed protest to conduct themselves peacefully and responsibly, adhering to the principles of non-violence and respect for the rights of others,” the statement further read.


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