The Nigeria Police High Command, yesterday,
warned Nigerians planning mass protest
against the Federal Government to shelve
such plans to avoid loss of lives and property.

But organisers of the protest led by hi-hop
musician, Innocent Idibia aka Tuface, have
insisted on going ahead with the protest
slated for tomorrow in Lagos and Abuja.

Idibia, whose foundation, 2Face Foundation,
is organising the protest said it would
commence at 8am in Lagos and 9am in Abuja,
asking participants to wear green attires.

The protest, according to the organisers, was
to draw attention to the hardship in the
country, and for the various levels of
government to urgently address the
economic challenges.

Lagos State police boss, Fatai Owoseni had
warned against the planned protest, stating
that hoodlums might hijack it and wreck
havoc on innocent Nigerians. Also, the
Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command
said it has not been notified of the protest.

Spokesman of the police, Jimoh Moshood, a
Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) in a
statement late on Friday night, said: “The
attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been
drawn to publications in the media on the
planned protests slated for 5th and 6th
February, 2017 in Lagos and other states by
different groups, one to be led by the popular
musician Innocent Idibia, Aka Tuface and
other opposing groups.

“Nigeria Police Force is deeply concerned
with the security implications with regard to
the planned protest/demonstrations,
and as the lead security agency in the
country, is fully aware and recognizes the
constitutional rights of every citizen
(including Tuface and his group) to assemble
and move freely in any part of the country.

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

The statement warned people to stay off any
act that would compromise the security of
the nation under whatever guise, as the
Police would not hesitate to use whatever
means possible to maintain the peace of the
country.

Meanwhile, Association of Licensed Private
Security Practitioners of Nigeria has warned
the organisers of the protest to be wary of
hoodlums that may want to hijack it to create
confusion in the system.

The group of security practitioners said it was
not against anyone expressing his views, but
must be done within the confines of law. The
Chairman of the Association, Mr. Wilson
Esangbedo, who disclosed this during a press
conference in Lagos, yesterday, said the
present prevailing security situation in
Nigeria does not encourage the planned anti-
government protest at this time because
miscreants and hoodlums may hijack the
protest and unleash mayhem on members of
the public.

Esangbedo said terrorists might see the
peaceful protest as a soft target for terrorist
activities. Also, the Bring back Our Girls
(BBOG) has dismissed insinuation that it is in
partnership with the organisers of the
protest, saying though the general ideals of
the march tallies with the good governance
and accountable leadership the BBOG has
been advocating for, it is not involved in the
planned protest
However, Convener of the group, Dr
Oby Ezekwesili said on her twitter handle
that the Federal Government or police have
no right to repress citizens who have decided
to speak out against obnoxious policies.

Her Twitter handle, @obyezeks reads in part:
“Please all join in praying for the
#IStandWithNigeria Citizens that their march
goes well & for the FG that it hears their
agitation.”


Thomas
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