No Room for Violent Protests in Nigeria –IGP

As IGP Orders Watertight Security Across Nigeria, Appeals for Calm

The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, has advised against violent protests in any part of the country.

Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi conveyed the IGP’s advice in a statement he issued apparently on the proposed strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, the two leading associations for the labour movement in Nigeria.

“The IGP, Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, is deeply concerned about recent developments regarding planned nationwide protests by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).

“While being mindful of the right to peaceful protest, as enshrined in the nation’s constitution, the IGP has urged all parties involved to ensure that the planned demonstrations were conducted in a peaceful manner to prevent being hijacked by miscreants, owing to the previous ugly experiences of such protests in most major cosmopolitan cities in the country.”, Adejobi stated.

“The IGP, however, acknowledged the grievances raised by the labour unions and the importance of constructive dialogue, which, he noted, was sine qua non in addressing these issues”, it added.

The force spokesman disclosed that in the light of this, the IGP had ordered Commissioners of Police in charge of various commands, and supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, to engage in fruitful discussions with the NLC/TUC leadership to foster understanding and reach common grounds on the planned protests, adding that a peaceful and coordinated approach was crucial to achieving meaningful solutions and preventing any form of violence or disruptions to public order, should the protests persist.

The Nigeria Police Force, according to Adejobi, reiterated its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all citizens during the period of the planned protests as all necessary measures to facilitate the peaceful conduct of these demonstrations had been emplaced.

The statement, however, warned that any attempt by miscreants to exploit the situation for violent purposes by means of vandalism, gangsterism, and extortion would be met with firm, professional and commensurate lawful approach.

“The Police will not tolerate any act that threatens the peace and well-being of our country.”In light of the potential challenges posed by the planned protests, the Nigeria Police Force is fully prepared to deploy all available resources to maintain law and order and to protect the lives and property of our citizens.

The IGP therefore calls on all officers to be vigilant, professional, and uphold the highest standards of conduct during this period”, the Police stated.

The Police boss urged all stakeholders, including the NLC, TUC, and other civil society groups, to embrace peaceful dialogue as the most effective means of resolving grievances, while also reemphasizing that the force was committed to ensuring a secure and conducive environment for open dialogue, constructive engagement and mutual understanding for a seamless exercise of civil rights, the statement concluded.