…warns labour against violent protests
Acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, on Tuesday, warned the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress against violence during their nationwide protests commencing from Wednesday.
The IGP issued this warning against the backdrop of the protests scheduled by the labour unions across the country.
Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement, quoted the IGP as warning that any attempt by miscreants to hijack the protests would be vehemently resisted by the police.
Adejobi said inspite of the fact that the right to peaceful protest is enshrined in the constitution, the labour unions must ensure that the protest is carried out without any violence by preventing miscreants from hijacking it.
Egbetokun is said to have ordered the Commissioners of Police in charge of various commands, and supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, to engage in fruitful discussions with the NLC and TUC leadership to foster understanding and reach common grounds on the planned protests.
According to the police boss, “A peaceful and coordinated approach is crucial to achieving meaningful solutions and preventing any form of violence or disruptions to public order, should the protests persist.”
The FPRO statement added, “The Nigeria Police Force reiterates 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 have been emplaced. However, it is hereby reaffirmed that any attempt by miscreants to exploit the situation for violent purposes viz-a-viz vandalism, gangsterism, and extortion will 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 boss urges 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 Police is committed to ensuring a secure and conducive environment for open dialogue, constructive engagement and mutaul understanding for a seamless exercise of civil rights.”