“Why the 2Face’s February 6th Protest may not Hold” – Nigerian Police

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Nelson A.Osuala [4 February 2017] You will recall that earlier in the week, Nigerian Afro- music pop star, Innocent Idibia aka 2baba or Tuface, called for the support of his fans and colleagues via his social media platforms to join his march against the epileptic and dwindling   economic state of the nation. The protest which is slated for February 5th and 6, 2017 may not see the light of day as police source alleges. Laying credence to Vanguard, The Nigeria Police Force has given reasons why they think the popular Afro-Pop artiste, Innocent Idibia  and others must halt their planned protests. According to a statement released on Friday by the Force's Public Relations Officer for Lagos Headquarters, one  identified as CSP. Jimoh Moshood , he alleges that ‘The police has ‘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 and 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 Police in the statemet advised that Tuface, his and the other opposing groups should shelve their planned protests in the interest of peace and security. Its further warned that the Police Force will ’employ every possible legal means to see to the maintenance of law and order; and for the protection of lives and property.’ and that members of the public, parents and guardians, religious/opinion leaders and other interest groups should caution their children and wards, followers and adherents not to allow themselves to be used by any group to cause disturbance of public peace and break down of law and order. Also the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, Thursday, said the command will not let the protest hold in the metropolis. Owoseni said intelligence reports indicates that criminals might hijack the process to wreak havoc in Lagos. He said: “Information reaching us revealed that some hoodlums are planning to hijack the peaceful protest and at such, we won’t allow it to hold in Lagos. We know that Tuface does not have the capacity to contain such a crowd and we will not fold our hands and watch while things go out of hand,” Owoseni said. However the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, Mr. Laolu Akande on Friday in a series of tweets on his twitter handle said that “this administration will not prevent Nigerians from expressing themselves in peaceful protests, it’s a fundamental right of the people.” “No govt has ever laid out the kind of Social Investment Prog, the Buhari govt is now running across the nation, that will touch millions.” The Police statement read thus 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 TUFACEand other opposing groups. 2.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. 3. In this regard, the Force is also cognizant of its constitutional responsibilities of taking any proactive/ preventive security measures:- i.In the interest of public safety, public order, public morality or public health. ii.For the purposes of protecting lives and property, as well as the constitutional rights and freedom of other citizens. 4.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. 5.To this end, the Nigeria Police Force deems it imperative to issue this press release:- i. That Innocent Idibia (a.k.a Tuface) and his group are hereby advised strongly to shelve their planned peaceful protest/demonstration in the interest of peace and security. ii. That the other opposing groups are equally advised strongly to shelve its planned counter protest/demonstration in the interest of peace and security. iii. That the Nigeria Police Force is prepared to employ every possible legal means for the maintenance of law and order; and for the protection of lives and property. Consequently, members of the public, parents and guardians, religious/opinion leaders and other interest groups are strongly advised to prevail on their children and wards, followers and adherents not to allow themselves to be used by any group to cause disturbance of public peace and break down of law and order. Do you think the Nigeria police got it right this time? Should their adduced reasons and advice be taken seriously or not? But how are we not sure that their words are targeted at creating panic amongst Nigerians hereby raising a hysteria of restrain and fear? Tell us your take. Nelson A.Osuala
Is a Blogger & the Associate Editor of Negroidhaven.