The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has faulted the decision of the Lagos State Police Command to stop a protest spearheaded by foremost musician, Tuface Idibia, to protest the harsh living conditions in the country.
The nationwide protest, facilitated by Enough is Enough Nigeria, a coalition of individuals and youth-led organizations committed to good governance and public accountability, is scheduled for Monday.
In Lagos, protesters would march from the National Stadium to the National Theatre, a four-kilometre distance, to call for urgent attention to the economic downturn across the country.
On Wednesday, Fatai Owoseni, the Lagos State Police Commissioner, was quoted as saying that the police had received intelligence reports that criminals were planning to hijack the protest and unleash mayhem in the state.
“We know that Tuface does not have the capacity to contain such a crowd and we will not fold our hands and watch while things go out of hand,” Mr. Owoseni was quoted as saying.
On Thursday, Mr. Fayose described the Lagos police boss statement as “puerile.”
“Apart from Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution, which provided that ‘Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons…,’, the Court of Appeal already affirmed that protest or gathering do not require police permit or interference,” Mr. Fayose said in a statement issued by Lere Olayinka, his media aide.
“Court of Appeal affirmed in its judgement in Inspector General of Police Vs All Nigerians Peoples Party that protest or gathering do not require police permit or interference as obtainable in advanced democracy,” said Mr. Fayose, who had earlier indicated interest to participate in the protest.
“Most importantly, the protest is said to be for and about good governance. So who is afraid of the protest? Who does the police represent or is representing in this issue?”