The acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has ordered tight security nationwide ahead of a planned protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) this week.
The decision comes amid concerns over potential disruptions and violence that have marred previous protests in major cosmopolitan cities across the country.
In a statement issued by the Force Headquarters, the Inspector-General emphasized the citizens’ constitutional right to peaceful protest.
He urged all parties involved to ensure that the demonstrations are conducted in a peaceful manner to prevent hijacking by miscreants.
The statement acknowledged the grievances rose by the labour unions and stressed the importance of constructive dialogue in addressing these issues.
The spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, revealed that the Inspector-General has directed Commissioners of Police and supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police to engage in discussions with the NLC and TUC leadership.
The goal is to foster understanding and reach common ground on the planned protests, promoting a peaceful and coordinated approach to achieving meaningful solutions.
The Nigeria Police Force, in its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all citizens during the period of the planned protests, has put in place all necessary measures to facilitate their peaceful conduct.
A strong warning was issued against any attempt to exploit the situation for violent purposes, such as vandalism, gangsterism, or extortion.
The police promised the public that they will respond firmly, professionally, and lawfully to such acts..
“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,” Adejobi stated.
The spokesperson further reaffirmed the police’s dedication to upholding the highest standards of conduct during this period and called on all officers to be vigilant and professional.
The objective is to maintain law and order and protect the lives and property of citizens.
On July 29, 2023, representatives of organized Labour left a crucial meeting with the Presidential Steering Committee on subsidy palliatives at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting was to address the impact of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians but ended in disarray as the Labour delegation accused the federal government of deception and lack of preparedness.
Led by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, the Labour delegation, arrived at the meeting venue, expressing frustration with the government’s handling of the discussions.
The meeting was the fourth in a series of discussions between the government and organized Labour since the fuel subsidy removal.
In response, organized Labour scheduled a nationwide protest for August 2, 2023.