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Nigerian Police Force on High Alert as Nationwide Protest Looms

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With the Nigerian Labour Congress planning a nationwide strike scheduled for February 27 and 28, 2024, the Nigerian Police Force has announced that officers are now on red alert.

Ensuring the protection of citizens’ rights and freedom to participate in the protests is a top priority for the Force.

In a statement released on Monday, signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, it was stated that:

“The Nigeria Police Force acknowledges the right of all citizens to engage in peaceful protest in compliance with existing laws, in light of the upcoming nationwide protest organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress. The NPF reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding the rights and freedom of protesters.”

To uphold law and order, the Nigerian Police Force has deployed personnel across the country and placed them on red alert to monitor the planned protest. All Commissioners of Police and their supervising officers have been briefed and instructed to oversee the officers on the ground to ensure the safety and security of all participants if the protests proceed as scheduled,” the statement outlined.

The planned protest by the NLC is in response to the government’s failure to implement agreements reached on October 2, 2023, following the removal of fuel subsidy.

After a 14-day ultimatum urging the federal government to address the prevailing hardship in the nation, the decision to protest was made.

Adejobi emphasized in the statement the police’s recognition of the significance of the protests while remaining vigilant to prevent any potential hijack attempts. The statement also warned that any unrest efforts would be suppressed, as the police have zero tolerance for lawlessness.

The Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, in his appeal to protesters, urged peaceful and responsible conduct, emphasizing the importance of non-violence and respect for others’ rights during the demonstrations.

“Despite recognizing the importance of peaceful protests, the Nigeria Police Force is on high alert against any efforts to hijack such protests for ulterior motives. The force is fully prepared to swiftly and decisively respond to any unlawful activities or violence that could jeopardize peace, public safety, and security,” the statement concluded.

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