The Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) have threatened to disrupt the launch of the Ondo State chapter of the Red Card Movement (RCM) slated to hold on Saturday in the capital city of Akure, Sahara Reporters has just learnt.
It was gathered that the launch of the movement, billed to hold at the open space adjacent the NEPA office in Akure, is expected to pull a huge crowd of participants from the 18 local government areas of the state.
The RCM, with the sole aim of “laying a foundation for new Nigeria”, would also be launched in the remaining 35 states of the federation this Saturday.
One of the RCM organisers in Akure told Sahara Reporters on Friday night that security agencies in Ondo State had concluded to interrupt the event.
The source said that the Police specifically threatened the organisers to be ready to face the “consequences” if they insisted on going ahead with the event.
He disclosed that the security agencies, mostly the DSS, had been closely monitoring the activities of the movement in the state by tapping the telephone lines of the organisers.
“The security agencies in the state are already threatening us that we should not hold our programme in Akure this Saturday and they are not giving us any convincing reason.
“In fact, the DSS and the Commissioner of Police [Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju] in the state called some of our leaders on the phone this evening and warned them not to hold any rally or procession in the city of Akure.
“They claimed that there was no approval for such event in the state and we must not go ahead, else we would face the consequences that arise from holding the public event.
“Meanwhile, we submitted a letter to the security agencies informing them about the programme and they even received the copy, which they acknowledged and stamped.
“It is saddening this night [Friday night] to hear from the DSS and Police that we should not hold the event because there is no approval from the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
“Honestly, we see this action of the security agencies as a threat to our fundamental human rights, and freedom of association, movement and information as entrenched in the Nigerian constitution.
“But we have resolved that we won’t be cajoled by their empty threat and we shall converge on our locations and move on with the launch of the group. Nothing will stop us.
“It is good we raised the alarm to the whole world and mostly the people of Ondo State on how the DSS and Police are planning to rain terror on us by tomorrow. We are already sensing they are planning for war but we won’t take it.”
When contacted for confirmation, Gbenga Adeyanju, Commissioner of Police in the state, didn’t answer calls to his phone.
Our correspondent learnt that more than 60 persons had shown interest in attending the launch of the movement.
The Red Card Movement, being championed by the former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, and human rights activist, Aisha Yusuf, was officially launched in Abuja on April 18, 2018.