Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, on Saturday said the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has not placed any ban on peaceful public protests/processions anywhere in the country and, particularly, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Apparently reacting to the near-clash between the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOGs) group and the police,in Abuja, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Woke Soyinka, and some CSOs groups had warned that the group be given space to protest.
However, in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Donald Awunah, and made available to the media in Abuja, he admitted that peaceful protest/procession is an integral part of democratic norms inasmuch as it conforms to the rule of law and public order.
According to the IGP, the Nigeria Police Force recognises the constitutional right of every law abiding citizen to express his or her view through public protest/procession and other legitimate means.
However, he said, in order to ensure that public protest/procession is not hijacked by hoodlums and miscreants to unleash mayhem and disturbance of public peace, persons or group of persons undertaking public protest/procession should notify the police for protection.