Abuja — Nigeria police has denied banning peaceful rallies in Abuja.
“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. It notes however that 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,” Frank Mba Force Public Relations Officer, stated.
He reminded citizens of the earlier position of the Force on peaceful rallies, which the Police High Command regards as the constitutional and democratic rights of Nigerians.
“The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar, stresses the need for the organizers of such rallies to ensure that they seek 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.”
Mba said citizens are strongly advised to reconsider their positions on the issues of rallies and protests in FCT until the existing threats are appropriately neutralized and removed from our midst by relevant security agencies.
He said the IGP reassures citizens of the commitment of the Force to the protection of lives and property and advancing the course of democracy in Nigeria.
The clarification follows the ban of demonstrations calling for the release of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls Boko Haram is holding hostage. The ban applies to Abuja.