After public condemnation, Nigeria Police backtrack, pledge to allow peaceful protests in Abuja

Bring Back our girls - time is running out

The Nigeria Police have denied banning peaceful rallies in the capital, Abuja.

The police have in the past few days come under heavy criticism for trying to stop the Bring Back Our girls protest who are demanding government do more to free the Chibok girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram. Apart from members of the protesters, others like Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and human rights lawyer Femi Falana also condemned the police ban.

In a statement signed by the Force Public Relations officer, Don Awunah, the Police said it recognised the impacts of peaceful protests in a democracy and would not jeopardise the rights of Nigerians.

“Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris wishes to state categorically that at no time did Nigeria Police Force place a ban on peaceful public protest/procession anywhere in Nigeria most particularly Federal Capital Territory,” Mr. Awunah said.

Bring Back Our Girls protesters being stopped by the Nigeria Police
Bring Back Our Girls protesters being stopped by the Nigeria Police

“Peaceful Public protest/procession is an integral part of democratic norms in as much as it conforms with the rule of law and public order.

“The Nigeria Police Force recognises the constitutional rights of every law abiding citizen to express his or her view through public protest/procession and other legitimate means,” he added.

Members of the Force had attempted to prevent the #BringBackOurGirls group on Tuesday from continuing their rally to the Presidential Villa to canvass an urgent return of the over 200 girls abducted in April 2014.

The #BBOG began its clamour in 2014, shortly after the over 200 girls were abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State.

The agitation for the student’s return became stronger in August this year, when the Boko Haram released a video showing some of the girls.

The group vowed to match every 72 hours till government ensures the return of the girls.

In its reaction to the widely reported police ban, the #BBOG group vowed to continue with its rally, stressing that the police had no constitutional powers to make such an order.

“Of course the rally continues. The work of the police is to protect lives and properties. They are not the National Assembly, or the courts of law to make such an order,” a spokesperson for the group, Aisha Yesufu, told PREMIUM TIMES.

Another member of the group, Buky Sonibare, said the #BBOG group would rely on a previous judgement by an Abuja High Court, which overruled a similar order in 2014.

The court had in October that year decided on an application brought before it by the #BBOG group that the rights of citizens to freedom of movement and association allows them to conduct such peaceful rallies, without undue interference.

In its statement on Saturday night, the police said it would not attempt to disrupt peaceful rallies, so long as they are conducted within the provisions of the law.

It however said the protests would not be allowed on highways. The road leading from the Unity fountain where the BBOG commence their protest to the Three Arms Zone, where it intends marching to, is a mini-highway, an indication the police may still try to stop such march without stopping the gatherings.

Bring Back Our Girls protesters being stopped by the Nigeria Police
Bring Back Our Girls protesters being stopped by the Nigeria Police

“The Police will not condone any protest/procession on the public highways and roads inhibiting or disallowing public freedom and right of way,” the spokesperson said; asking that the police be notified of planned protests.

“The Inspector General of Police is committed to the principles of democratic policing and adherence to international best practices in public order management.

“To this end, State Commissioners of Police and Police Commanders are directed to emplace strategies to protect and facilitate lawful public protest/processions as well as protect other members of the public who are not engaged in any form of public protest/procession,” he added.

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  • vagabonds in power

    The present lame duck bingo Buhari government, made up of the Apes in APC—should stop insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians with these fake stories from the camp of the so-called bring back our girls madness! being sponsored by the Fulani and Yoruba ati the Ibo political errand women led by lady Oby, working for Boko haram—in APC——Jonathan had earlier accused Coordinators of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group, Hadiza Usman now with the Ports Authority and Dino Melaye a Senator under the APES in APC, of politicizing the agony of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls–That allegation have now been proven right–with the appointment of Usman as the Chief executive of PA——-via her work with the 419 bring back our Fulani Yariyans from Mali-project initiated by the CIA for the Apes in APC to unseat Jonathan.

    That the campaign was politically motivated, was also confirmed after a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Audu Ogbeh now Minister of Agriculture, said the party was proud that the campaign leaders are all from its fold in APC. Sow hat is this news about—Ooooh Yee mumu 9jas?

    Besides, the longstanding view of Nigerians in General is that BBOG movement’s only agenda, was to unseat the Jonathan administration. And the notion that it has the full backing of the CIA—and the present government when their evil acts are examined against the roles played by Dino Melaye & the initiator of the 419 scheme Hadiza Bala Usman at Buhari’s Declaration as a presidential candidate of the Apes in APC–is a clear proof—-Sad though that the Apes in APC are now using the poor women of Chibok and their ex-extended families in Borno state to score cheap political points for the Fulanis and Yorubas–in APC—–long after the election——————Bingo Buhari told a shocked world he is prepared to negotiate the release of the fake Chibok girls with boko haram. But that he will never negotiate with the Militants in the niger delta——–As if that was not enough—Bingo Buhari is presently using the Police headed by another sadist from the Fulani north to lie to the nation by making it it seem as if the chibok gals issue are real–Separation is the on,ly way out not the rule of the Fulanis and Yoruba traitors—–from the south west———–using the media to make the chibok thimg seem real in our jaundiced eyes ati thoughts——–animals

    • Burning Spear

      More than two years after the alleged abduction of over 200 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents, a coalition of Christian women in Nigeria, under the aegis of Women’s Wing of Christian Council of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja, described it as “a big scam.”

      The organisation warned proponents of the campaign for the release of the Chibok girls to retreat, saying “Nigerians should not toy with Nigerians because before they know it, women will arise and they will see the other side of women.”

      Before now, notable Nigerians, including a former President, had reportedly described the Chibok incident which took place on the night of April 14/15 April 2014, as a scam.

      Meanwhile, a group, currently championing the release of the abducted girls under the aegis of Bring Back Our Girls (#BBOG#), has been clashing with sponsored pro-government forces that was hired by the Bingo Buhari team to make the protest seem as if the government was not in support of the Bring back our girl rubbish thing

      • thusspokez

        So @vagabonds in power aka @Burning Spear now responds to himself? It is that bad? No one wants to talk to you any-more, hence you are taking this desperate action? I will talk to you, old chap!

  • POPPINS

    I hope jimmy Disu of classic fm will hide his head in shame, he has been talking more than the IG on this matter, such a hypocrite.

    • aisha ani

      Please leave Jimmy Disu alone.

  • thusspokez

    This backtracking should demonstrate to the otherwise nonchalant Nigerians how pressure on these institutions can be profitable.

    Nigerians would often blame the decision to bare the protest on their president, but failing to realise that it has nothing to do with the president but heads of these institutions who undermine the law and make these decisions thinking that it will please the president and the governing party.

  • ed

    The latest attempt to undermine our hard fought democracy by President Buhari is just the start of dictatorship rules to come.
    Watch out for the grazing reserve and grazing route.
    Nomadic people seems to be completely unaware of trailer and trucks the the rest of the world use in moving cows to market.
    President Buhari want the power to confiscate our father’s land and give them to Fulani’s herdsmen private business.
    That’s the position that Tinubu, Rotimi, Okorocha and other APC saddly supported.

    • thusspokez

      The latest attempt to undermine our hard fought democracy by President Buhari

      It is not Buhari! Why must you threat him like a god?

      The culprit in this case is the police chief who thinks that baring the protesters will please his oga Buhari. If you want to force changes on the police, SSS, EFCC, etc., focus your criticisms on these organisations when they make bad decisions.

  • Man_Enough

    i doubt very much if the law allows anybody to come and protest in my bedroom; nay my compound. i will protest violently against such a group. mobs are allowed to protest but if the police or the president protests, it is a crime.

    • thusspokez

      What are you on about? I know that it is weekend, i.e., fun time; and time to patronise ogogoro bars and similar joints! But please take libation in moderation and don’t comment online at the same time. (BTW If you are a Nigerian, caution: this is not an insult!)

      • Man_Enough

        join me to destroy poison. a slush will put you at the same level with me. now we are poles apart.

  • Jesunyem George

    #Bring Back Our (Preferred) Girls – Part 1. Written
    by Jesunyem George.

    Only a few months ago, one of the other girls kidnapped by
    Boko Haram was forced – by circumstance – to lie that she was one of the
    kidnapped Chibok girls, after she was apprehended by Cameroonian security
    forces, in a failed suicide-bombing attempt – apparently masterminded by her
    captors, the very infamous Boko Haram sect – in other to partake in the
    preferential treatment being enjoyed exclusively by her fellow kidnapped mates,
    even the world acclaimed Chibok girls.

    And her strategy, strange as it may seem, achieved its aim
    to perfection – albeit only momentarily – as her lie of being one of the
    missing Chibok girls, instantly accorded her that exclusive status and
    attention, that would otherwise not have been the case, had she just said the
    truth, even that she was just one of the other (not so Chibok) girls from
    Nigeria, that had been kidnapped by the Boko Haram.

    Therefore who could blame the poor girl for lying and
    claiming to be who she wasn’t, even a Chibok girl, especially under that
    extreme circumstance, where the first instinct of those who had apprehended
    her, may have been to do away with her, hence she thought the only way for her
    life to be saved was to lie thus, therefore her strategy may have been
    essentially a life-saving one.

    And come to think of it, the only reason she became a
    potential suicide bomber, was because she was kidnapped by the cold-blooded
    insurgents, which wasn’t any fault of hers in the first place that she was
    kidnapped by the blood-obsessed insurgents. Therefore either-way it would have
    been really unfair for her to lose her life under that enforced circumstance.

    And so she lied that she was a Chibok girl, because she
    basically thought that it would afford her a better treatment, perhaps as the
    preservation of her life, which she would not otherwise have had, if she was
    just one of the other kidnapped girls.

    Unfortunately though, that mentality of the teenager is not
    one that was held in isolation, for that was a true reflection of the reality
    in those Boko Haram camps. As other reports emanating from certain members of
    her own group of the kidnapped girls, that is the Non-Chibokan girls, who have
    had the fortune of being rescued by the security forces, also attesting to the
    fact that that was the general mindset of the other kidnapped girls in the
    camps, as the Chibok girls were given preferential and special treatment as
    compared to them, by the very dreaded terrorists.

    And as if the trauma
    alone of being kidnapped was not bad enough for the poor girls, now they had to
    come to grips with being treated by their kidnappers as “second-class citizens”
    amongst the kidnapped girls, just because they were not from Chibok. This is
    the ridiculous dimension to which the saga of the Chibok girls has been
    mismanaged and manhandled.

    Therefore you can call the terrorists whatever you want;
    cold blooded, diabolic, desperately wicked, animalistic etc. and even demonic
    as i would, because of the extent of the atrocities that their blood-filled
    hands have unleashed on countless Nigerians, however this development suggests
    that there was a perhaps a missing weapon that they may have yet lacked in
    their diabolic arsenal, whose leaf they have taken from some of us who
    ironically claim to be better than them, and even been at the forefront of their
    condemnation, which is, “How to discriminate between the kidnapped girls”, so
    that amongst all the girls that they had kidnapped from Nigeria, they now had
    “the Chibok girls”, and “the others”.

  • Jesunyem George

    #Bring Back Our (Preferred) Girls – Part 1. Written
    by Jesunyem George. 08104025915

    Only a few months ago, one of the other girls kidnapped by
    Boko Haram was forced – by circumstance – to lie that she was one of the
    kidnapped Chibok girls, after she was apprehended by Cameroonian security
    forces, in a failed suicide-bombing attempt – apparently masterminded by her
    captors, the very infamous Boko Haram sect – in other to partake in the
    preferential treatment being enjoyed exclusively by her fellow kidnapped mates,
    even the world acclaimed Chibok girls.

    And her strategy, strange as it may seem, achieved its aim
    to perfection – albeit only momentarily – as her lie of being one of the
    missing Chibok girls, instantly accorded her that exclusive status and
    attention, that would otherwise not have been the case, had she just said the
    truth, even that she was just one of the other (not so Chibok) girls from
    Nigeria, that had been kidnapped by the Boko Haram.

    Therefore who could blame the poor girl for lying and
    claiming to be who she wasn’t, even a Chibok girl, especially under that
    extreme circumstance, where the first instinct of those who had apprehended
    her, may have been to do away with her, hence she thought the only way for her
    life to be saved was to lie thus, therefore her strategy may have been
    essentially a life-saving one.

    And come to think of it, the only reason she became a
    potential suicide bomber, was because she was kidnapped by the cold-blooded
    insurgents, which wasn’t any fault of hers in the first place that she was
    kidnapped by the blood-obsessed insurgents. Therefore either-way it would have
    been really unfair for her to lose her life under that enforced circumstance.

    And so she lied that she was a Chibok girl, because she
    basically thought that it would afford her a better treatment, perhaps as the
    preservation of her life, which she would not otherwise have had, if she was
    just one of the other kidnapped girls.

    Unfortunately though, that mentality of the teenager is not
    one that was held in isolation, for that was a true reflection of the reality
    in those Boko Haram camps. As other reports emanating from certain members of
    her own group of the kidnapped girls, that is the Non-Chibokan girls, who have
    had the fortune of being rescued by the security forces, also attesting to the
    fact that that was the general mindset of the other kidnapped girls in the
    camps, as the Chibok girls were given preferential and special treatment as
    compared to them, by the very dreaded terrorists.

    And as if the trauma
    alone of being kidnapped was not bad enough for the poor girls, now they had to
    come to grips with being treated by their kidnappers as “second-class citizens”
    amongst the kidnapped girls, just because they were not from Chibok. This is
    the ridiculous dimension to which the saga of the Chibok girls has been
    mismanaged and manhandled.

    Therefore you can call the terrorists whatever you want;
    cold blooded, diabolic, desperately wicked, animalistic etc. and even demonic
    as i would, because of the extent of the atrocities that their blood-filled
    hands have unleashed on countless Nigerians, however this development suggests
    that there was a perhaps a missing weapon that they may have yet lacked in
    their diabolic arsenal, whose leaf they have taken from some of us who
    ironically claim to be better than them, and even been at the forefront of their
    condemnation, which is, “How to discriminate between the kidnapped girls”, so
    that amongst all the girls that they had kidnapped from Nigeria, they now had
    “the Chibok girls”, and “the others”.