…Says Violent Protests Threat To Democracy And National Security
…Commend IG Over Creation Of SWAT
Daily Metro News NG
A civil society organisation, Citizens Action for Good Governance (CAGG) have called for the total ban of all street protests in the guise of #endSARS, saying the violent dimension of the protest is a threat to national security.
The group stated this during a world press conference held in Abuja, where it commended the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu for the creation of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit to combat rising cases of Armed-Robbery, fraud and all forms of criminality across the country.
The national coordinator of CAGG, Comrade Nazir Galadanchi, while delivering the statement also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful before the situation escalate and gets out of hand.
The group also condemns the killing and grivious bodily injuries inflicted on Police men in Delta and Lagos states by the protesters.
He said, “We have a simple and straight demand at this point. We demand a total ban of all street protests immediately by the government because if this is not done what the country will witness in coming days will not be palatable based on the above facts we have stated. We call on Nigerians to see reasons and rise up to stop the protesters because their demand has been met by dissolving the F-SARS, and other 5 demands are all met by the police authority on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We want President Buhari to do the needful before it gets out of hand. We are also bona fide Nigerians who don’t want this now politically-motivated protest to affect others negatively.”
While commending the IG, the group said, “We want to first seize this opportunity to formally commend the IGP, Mr Mohammed Adamu for his capacity and competence in managing the protest so far and the formation of the novel Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) unit set up to tackle all incidences of fraud, armed-robbery and other criminality across the country.
“We believe it will be a better, improved, well organized version of the dissolved SARS. We urged the IGP to continue to put measures in place to evolve a people-friendly and humane Nigeria Police Force for guaranteed policing and rid the nation of all forms of criminality and crime. We also thank the IGP for heeding to our call on reform to subject police officers to psychological and medical examination and enhance trainings.
“We want to also clear the air that the SWAT Team are not personnel of the defunct SARS. They are experienced officers of the Nigerian Police Force who are going to be given good training and orientation, state-of-the-art technological equipment, use of drones and body-worn cameras to facial recognition software and artificial intelligence.
“On the on-going protest across the country, we want to unequivocally state at this juncture that the dimension the protesters have assumed is really becoming worrisome because we see that the protests have been hijacked and other actions we seemly describe as unbecoming and threat to national security.”
The statement further read, “We appreciate the fact that as citizens we have the right to express ourselves through constructive criticisms, opinions, views, ideas, peaceful protests, dialogue and engagements to make those in constituted authority to listen and do our bidding towards national development and peaceful co-existence on the basis of mutual respect.
“For about three weeks now Nigerians have been on the streets protesting over overzealousness of some operatives of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, F-SARS.
These protests carried out by Nigerians are in line with democratic tenets when there are unlawful operations, activities and actions that infringes on the fundamental human rights of citizens. We appreciate the fact that Nigerians are by the day getting aware of their rights as citizens and demand justice according to the law.
“We have also seen that the protesters have had their way as the Buhari-led administration have listened to their call to ban F-SARS on Sunday which was pronounced by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, which demonstrated respect for the voice of Nigerians.
“We have observed and want to state that; The protesters are now dominated by criminals in the society who have resorted to violence: Recently protesters have been assaulting security agents, especially officers of the Nigerian Police Force. Many of them have been attacked and injured by these hoodlums who are hiding under the guise of protest. We refer to reported cases in Delta and Lagos states where police men were killed and injured.
“There have been burning down and destruction of police stations and illegally dismantling roadblocks: This indeed is an affront to the President of Nigeria and the Nigerian constitution. You will recall the attack on a police station in Sapele where hoodlums catered away with AK47 with 25 rounds of ammunition. Protesters also laid siege on Anti-Kidnapping Unit office of the command and release 2 kidnap suspects and in the process Inspector Ekei Joshua, Inspector Peter Agabi, Inspector Erinfolami Ayodeji (Late), were shot and critically injured, currently at the intensive care unit of LASU Teaching Hospital. This has also occurred in Ogun and Oyo states. The burning down of Police Stations and outposts is criminal and act of terrorism, which threatens our national security.
“Protesters are being sponsored by some political enemies: From our intelligence gathering there are politicians who have taken advantage of the protest to sponsor violence across the country in order to create an atmosphere of chaos and uprising in order to overheat the polity and make the country ungovernable so they can score cheap political point that the government lacks the capacity to keep the county peacefully.
“Protest gradually turning into anarchy: With the way the protest is going across the country, there is a gradual slide and slip into anarchy. This is indeed worrisome because it may snowball into what might consume the entire nation.
“Fake news on protest and other unfounded stories: Since the protest started there have been high level of fake news on social media to create unnecessary tensions pitching Nigerians against the government, hence creating civil disobedience to law and order. This is very dangerous for our country.
“Currently, the protest in a way has demoralized and drained the security agents to a great extent, and this might lead to low performance in the fight against criminality and criminals. This will worsen the current insecurity challenges we are grappling with.
“We see this as a ploy to destabilize the operations of security agents, and to free criminals in police custody and to trample on our laws against criminality.”