Nationwide Protest: IGP Orders Watertight Security Across Nigeria
……As Oyo Workers Protest Enters Day Two
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun has ordered for what he called ‘watertight’ security across the country, in readiness for the planned national protest by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), to voice their opposition to the removal of petroleum subsidy by the government.
President Bola Tinubu announced the official removal of the subsidy regime on his inauguration address, an action that triggered the cost of petroleum motor spirit (PMS) to go up, as Nigerians now buy fuel for #850, #700,#600 and #500 per litter, according to their geographic locations.
The high cost of fuel has had impacts on the purchasing power of workers, while other Nigerians have been complaining about the slow pace of applying cushioning palliative measures by the government.
In a press statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday morning by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the IGP expressed concern over the planned protests, as he feared same might be hijacked by hoodlums.
He directed all State police headquarters to be at alert, while appealing to workers to give more room for negotiation, instead of confrontation, saying that the police would not condone acts of vandalism by protesters.
“The Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, NPM, is deeply concerned about recent developments regarding planned nationwide protests by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC). While being mindful of the right to peaceful protest, as enshrined in our Constitution.
“The IGP urges all parties involved to ensure that the planned demonstrations are conducted in a peaceful manner to prevent being hijacked by miscreants, owing to the previous ugly experiences of such protests in most major cosmopolitan cities in the country. The IGP, however, acknowledges the grievances raised by the labour unions and the importance of constructive dialogue, which is sine qua none, in addressing these issues.
“In light of this, the IGP orders the Commissioners of Police in charge of various commands, and supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, to engage in fruitful discussions with the NLC/TUC leadership to foster understanding and reach common grounds on the planned protests. A peaceful and coordinated approach is crucial to achieving meaningful solutions and preventing any form of violence or disruptions to public order, should the protests persist.
“The Nigeria Police Force reiterates its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all citizens during the period of the planned protests as all necessary measures to facilitate the peaceful conduct of these demonstrations have been emplaced. However, it is hereby reaffirmed that any attempt by miscreants to exploit the situation for violent purposes viz-a-viz vandalism, gangsterism, and extortion will be met with firm, professional and commensurate lawful approach. The Police will not tolerate any act that threatens the peace and well-being of our country.
”In light of the potential challenges posed by the planned protests, the Nigeria Police Force is fully prepared to deploy all available resources to maintain law and order and to protect the lives and property of our citizens. The IGP therefore calls on all officers to be vigilant, professional, and uphold the highest standards of conduct during this period.
“The Police boss urges all stakeholders, including the NLC, TUC, and other civil society groups, to embrace peaceful dialogue as the most effective means of resolving grievances, while also reemphasizing that the Police is committed to ensuring a secure and conducive environment for open dialogue, constructive engagement and mutaul understanding for a seamless exercise of civil rights.”
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Chapter of the NLC and TUC have today, continued their protest to demand for a direct negotiation with the State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, on issues bothering on unpaid workers’ salary deductions and approach of the State government to ameliorate workers’ plight over the recent fuel subsidy removal.
The Chronicler Newspaper gathered that the main gate of the State Secretariat at Agodi, Ibadan, was under lock while the protesters were seeing displaying placards, communicating their demands.