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Hardship protest: Police promise to protect labour unions nationwide

The police high command on Monday put its officers nationwide on red alert, directing that they should protect all members of the Nigeria Labour Congress…

The police high command on Monday put its officers nationwide on red alert, directing that they should protect all members of the Nigeria Labour Congress who will troop out en masse to protest against current hardship being faced in the country.

The force also warned those planning to hijack the protest in order to cause mayhem in the country to stay away, insisting that the force was fully prepared to deal decisively with anybody who attempts to cause violence.

The Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, who stated this at the Force headquarters in Abuja, explained that all Commissioners of Police and their respective supervising officers had been briefed adequately.

Speaking through the spokesman of the Force, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Egbetokun added that the senior officers were instructed to coordinate the operatives on the ground in ensuring the safety and security of all participants if the protests hold as planned.

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He said, “The Nigeria Police Force on the heels of the proposed nationwide protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) hereby affirms the fundamental right of all citizens of the country to engage in peaceful protests in line with extant laws.

“As such, the NPF reiterates its commitment to ensuring the rights and freedom of protesters are protected. In line with its lawful duty to maintain law and order, the Nigeria Police Force has deployed personnel nationwide and placed them on red alert to monitor the planned protest.

“All Commissioners of Police and their respective supervising officers have been briefed and instructed to coordinate the officers on the ground in ensuring the safety and security of all participants if the protests hold as planned.

“While recognizing the importance of peaceful protest, the Nigeria Police Force remains vigilant against any attempts to hijack such protests by individuals or groups of persons with sinister intents.

“Emphatically, the force, therefore, is fully prepared to respond swiftly and decisively to any unlawful activities or acts of violence that may threaten peace, public safety, and security in the event of such.”

According to IGP, the police have spread their tentacles nationwide to curb any attempt by some individuals who might want to cash in on the nationwide protests to create brouhaha, and such will be met with an approved legal and proportional force.

He added, “The police will not allow wanton breakdown of law and order, loss of lives and property, like we had experienced in some instances in the past, in any part of the country.

“The Inspector-General of Police urges all participants at the proposed protest to conduct themselves peacefully and responsibly, adhering to the principles of non-violence and respect for the rights of others.

“He also calls on the organizers to cooperate with the police and other relevant security agencies in ensuring that their protests remain peaceful and orderly even as the NPF works tirelessly to ensure that protests are conducted in a safe environment, conducive to the promotion of democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria.”

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