The police attempted to disperse a protest in Abuja on Sunday.
About 24 hours after trying to forcibly eject protesters from the Unity Fountain venue in Abuja, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has said that the Nigeria Police Force is not against peaceful protest.
In a statement released on Monday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said that the police chief restated the commitment of the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to protect and enforce citizens’ fundamental rights as enshrined in Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
Mr. Mba said the security agencies are ‘duty-bound’ to enforce these rights adding that Mr. Abubakar has also charged the Zonal and State Command Officers to ensure that citizens embarking on peaceful demonstrations are provided adequate security in line with the standard operational practice of the Force.
There have been protests in various states as well as some foreign countries since April 14 when over 250 girls were kidnapped by the Boko Haram in Borno.
On Sunday, over 50 police officers took over the Unity Fountain venue and tried to forcibly prevent Abuja protesters from their daily sit-in protests.
The protesters, who started sit-in on April 30, two weeks after the girls were abducted; said the protest was aimed at persuading the Nigerian government to do more to safely rescue the girls.
Mr. Mohammed called on protest organisers to work with the police to ensure safety of protesters and orderliness of the exercise.
He also advised them to take necessary measures to deter hoodlums from hijacking the assemblies.
Mr. Mohammed reassured citizens on police efforts towards ensuring the rescue of the Chibok school girls and encouraged Nigerians to provide useful information that can help security agencies to fight crime.
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