The heat has turned up on Joseph Mbu, the Police Commissioner of the Federal Capital Territory, who recently issued a ban on protest gatherings that focus on the Boko Haram Chibok kidnappings seven weeks ago.
The new voice of opposition comes from a leading Human Rights organization in Nigeria, known as the Committee for Democracy and Rights of the People, or the CDRP for short. Members of this grouping have condemned the action of Joseph Mbu, for the banning of all protests over kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls in Abuja.
In a statement signed by the acting National Coordinator of the group, Comrade Saka Waheed, and obtained by SaharaReporters, the group said the ban is “unwarranted, condemnable, unconstitutional and antithetical to all democratic norms.”
According to Saka Waheed, he cites Section 40 of the 1999 constitution, as amended states that, ” Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely, and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union, or any other association for the protection of his interests.”
Saka Waheed said in his statement that, “though we are not surprised by the Mbu riot act, he is a commissioner of controversy, he has done it in Anambra state, before he was summarily posted to the FCT, but he must learn that in a democracy, the rights of citizens to peacefully assemble can neither be subjected to a police permit, nor be taken away by police ban, it is inalienable, incontestable, and Mbu can never be above the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.”
This is second fiery condemnation of Mbu’s call to ban protests in Abuja. Earlier, officials from the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, known by the acronym NOPRIN, had called on the police service commission (PSC) to exercise its statutory oversight, and invoke its disciplinary powers against Mr. Joseph Mbu.
In the CDRP statement, the group says that Nigeria Police has been consciously violating the constitution of the country in the name of security with subtle directive from the presidency. The CDRP in their own statement said, “therefore (we) restate our commitment to (the) fundamental rights of every citizen as guaranteed by the constitution to peacefully assemble, and any attempt by any security agency to take us back to (the) jackboot era of the military will be resisted.”
The Saka Waheed CDRP statement ends on the note, “therefore (we) restate our commitment to peacefully assemble with the Chibok families in the quest to bring home their daughters alive.”