United Action for Democracy (UAD) has challenged the Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP), Fatai Owoseni, to disclose the identity of those he claimed were planning to hijack the February 6 nationwide protest to perpetrate evil.
Mr. Owoseni had earlier claimed that he received information that hoodlums were planning to hijack the protest in order to create lawlessness and disorder. However, in a press release, the apparently skeptical UAD urged Mr. Owoseni to reveal the so-called hijackers.
“We want CP Fatai Owoseni to publish the names of ‘hoodlums’ that are planning to hijack the protests. Otherwise, the public should note that the said hoodlums are going to be sponsored by the police and the state agents themselves,” said the UAD, a civil society group.
The group condemned critics of the planned nationwide protest, especially the Nigeria Police, adding that the police have no right to stop any protest.
Stated the UAD: “We have been monitoring the harsh response of especially the Nigeria Police that the February 6th nationwide protests led by Enough is Enough (EiE) and the 2face Foundation will be stopped, and we want to say that we understand the intention therein. The Nigerian police [are] hell bent [on] killing all voices of dissent and demonizing all truthful and genuine disagreements [with] the government’s anti-poor policies.”
The group warned that the “the Nigerian Police Force has no right whatsoever to stop the peaceful assembly of any group or people. Do the police prefer violent protests to this planned peaceful one? The right to protest is a fundamental human right!”
UAD also counseled the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to act like law-abiding citizens and to refrain from assaulting or shooting at peaceful protesters. “We, therefore, want to tell Fatai Owoseni and others in the Nigeria Police to get civilized and stop using lethal weapons in protests. No live ammunition should be used by the police. And they must conduct themselves in the most serene manner as it’s done in saner climes,” said UAD.