IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, the acting Inspector-General of Police, has issued a warning against violent protests in Nigeria in response to the anticipated organised labour protest.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have scheduled nationwide rallies, and the IGP urged all parties engaged to make sure the demonstrations are carried out peacefully in a statement on Tuesday.
The IGP stated that while it respects the workers unions’ complaints, violence is not the solution.
He urged the unions to use peaceful negotiation as the best strategy for addressing their differences.
The IGP also warned that any attempt by miscreants to exploit the situation for violent purposes 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.
The statement issued by the Force Headquarters read, “The Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., 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.”
It further noted, “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.
“The IGP therefore calls on all officers to be vigilant, professional, and uphold the highest standards of conduct during this period.”
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