by ‘Jola Sotubo
Following a recently announced ban on all #BringBackOurGirls protests in Abuja, The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has said that no such ban was authorized.
The ban on the protests was announced on Monday by the Commissioner of Police for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mbu Joseph Mbu.
However, according to the Police Public Relations Officer for the FCT, Frank Mba, the police only urged that caution should be applied in organizing and participating in such demonstrations.
“The Police High Command wishes to inform the general public that the Force has not issued any order banning peaceful assemblies/protests anywhere in Nigeria.”
“However against the backdrop of current security challenges in the country, coupled with a recent intelligence report of a likely infiltration and hijack of otherwise innocuous and peaceful protests by some criminal elements having links with insurgents, the police only issued advisory notice, enjoining citizens to apply caution in the said rallies, particularly in the Federal Capital Territory and its environs.”
Reminding citizens of the earlier position of the Force on peaceful rallies, which he said the police high command regards as the constitutional and democratic rights of Nigerians, Mba said the inspector-general of police, Mohammed Abubakar, stressed the need for the organizers of such rallies to ensure that they sought proper advice and guidance from the police before engaging in any such exercise so as to avoid any unpleasant circumstances.
“The IGP calls on the general public to see the present position of the Force as a necessary sacrifice for the peace our nation needs, as security is a collective responsibility.
“Consequently, citizens are strongly advised to reconsider their positions on the issues of rallies and protests in the FCT until the existing threats are appropriately neutralized and removed from our midst by relevant security agencies,” he said.