The Nigeria Police Force on Friday called on Innocent ‘TuFace’ Idibia and others planning an anti-government protest for February 6 to immediately shelve the plan.
In a statement issued late Friday from the Force Headquarters in Abuja and signed by police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, the police said there was credible intelligence that the demonstration could turn violent.
“Innocent Idibia (a.k.a Tuface) and his group are hereby strongly advised to shelve their planned peaceful protest/demonstration in the interest of peace and security,” the police said.
Mr. Idibia called a “massive nationwide protest” about two weeks ago, citing government’s alleged inaction in the face of worsening economic crisis in the country.
The police first said they would support the match, then changed their mind on the grounds that the rally could turn violent.
Several pro-democracy groups and activists have already pledged to join the protest organised by Tuface, one of Nigeria’s most popular musicians.
However, the police said they were 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.”
READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELLOW:
RE- PLANNED PROTESTS OF TUFACE AND OTHER OPPOSING GROUPS SCHEDULED FOR 5TH AND 6TH FEBRUARY, 2017, IN LAGOS AND OTHER STATES
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 TUFACE and 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.
6. 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.