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June 12: IGP warns against violent protests

June 12: IGP warns against violent protests

The Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun has warned against violent protests as Nigeria marks the ‘Democracy Day’.

Egbetokun said the warning became necessary due to recent moves by some groups mobilizing for mass protests across the country.

He restated that “the right of citizens to protests is a right to peaceful protest only”.

The IGP said the police would protect the rights of all citizens, including those on peaceful protests. But he added that the Force would not allow protesters to violate the rights of other citizens.

The statement released by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said, “No decent society anywhere in the world will tolerate violent destruction of lives and properties in the name of a protest.

“While the NPF is committed to protecting the rights of those on peaceful protest, it will not look on to see the rights of others being violated in the name of a mass protest.”

The statement noted that those who want to stage a peaceful protest are advised to inform the police and request for police protection.

“Those who do otherwise should be ready to face the full weight of the law. Members of the public are again reminded that it is a criminal offence to tamper with the national grid or prevent/disrupt the transmission of electricity.

“It is equally unacceptable to cause disruption to any other critical infrastructure such as airports, hospitals, and other essential services, or violent picketing in whatever magnitude.

“The Nigeria Police Force, being a civil and responsive institution, committed to maintaining law and order and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens, therefore warns that any attempt to disrupt critical infrastructure, which could lead to an act of economic sabotage, treasonable felony, and jeopardize national security and public safety, will not be condoned during any protest action and will be met with the full force of the law.”

Adejobi said the IGP had directed all Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police and State Command Commissioners of Police in collaboration with other security agencies to ensure robust security arrangements are in place to prevent any breakdown of law and order.

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