The police in Jigawa State on Monday prevented a peaceful rally reportedly meant to protest incessant killings and kidnappings across the country.
The protest was billed to be flagged off at the Aminu Kano Triangle where hundreds of participants converged. The police sealed and barricaded the entrance, insisting the procession was illegal.
The convener of the rally, Umar Danjani, told reporters that the procession was organised to protest the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Mr Danjani said, ”The protest was also meant to call the attention of the federal government to act proactively before the security situation in Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina escalates to other states in the region.”
He said the protest was also for the government “to address the scourge of poverty and hunger among people.”
The protesters held placards with different inscriptions denouncing the state of crime and insecurity.
Why We Stopped Protesters – Police
Meanwhile, the police commissioner in Jigawa, Bala Senchi, said the police stopped the protest because ”it’s politically motivated and might be ‘overtaken’ by some miscreants ready to cause mayhem in the state.”
Mr Senchi said the police always act based ”on the premise of the law and in the best interest of the society”.
He, however, said he received a letter of notification for the protest.
“But since it was addressed to me as a person, not as a police commissioner in charge of Jigawa, they only informed me not the police,” the official said.
“The police prevented the procession for the good of the society, because other parties too may organise similar types of rally to counter this rally.”
The Nigerian legal system permits peaceful rallies, but in recent times, the police have illegally dispersed such gatherings, citing security concerns.