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Economic Hardship: Police Vow to Defend Protesters’ Right

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

This was as the force reiterated its commitment to ensuring the rights and freedom of protesters are protected.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi.

The statement read in part, “In line with its lawful duty to maintain law and order, the Nigeria Police Force 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 recognizing 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.

“It is vital to state that the Police has spread its tentacles nationwide to curb any attempt by some individuals who might want to leverage on the nationwide protests, to create brouhaha, and such will be met with an approved legal and proportional force as the Police will not allow wanton break down of law and order, loss of lives and property like we had experienced, in some instances, in the past, in any part of the country.

“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. He also calls on the organizers to cooperate with the Police and other relevant security agencies in ensuring that their protests remain peaceful and orderly even as the NPF works tirelessly to ensure that protests are conducted in a safe environment, conducive to the promotion of democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria.”

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