Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose’s overwhelming support for 2Face Idibia’s February 6 protest seems to have taken a new dimension.
In a statement by his spokesman, Lere Olayinka on Thursday, February 2, 2016, Fayose said Nigerians do not need Police permit to hold any peaceful protest.
Reacting to claims by Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni that criminals might hijack the planned protest, Governor Fayose noted that the security of lives and property is the primary responsibility of the Police.
“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,” the governor said.
“The duty of the police to secure Nigerians is mandatory, and not optional. Therefore, if there is any intelligence report suggesting the possibility of criminals hijacking the process, it is the duty of the police to provide security cover for the protesters.
“The APC-led federal government must be made to understand that leadership is about accountability. To be accountable, leaders must listen to public opinion either by civil or peaceful protest.
“Court of Appeal affirmed in its judgement in Inspector General of Police Vs All Nigerians Peoples Party that protest or gathering do not require a police permit or interference as obtainable in advanced democracy. “Most importantly, the protest is said to be for and about good governance. So who is afraid of the protest? Who does the police represents or is representing on this issue?”
“Nigerians are hungry and angry, our currency is now above N500 to $1. If Nigerians want to show their anger, no one should prevent them. Nepotism, extra-judicial killings, disobedience to court orders and human rights abuses must stop.
“The conscience is an open wound and the guilty is afraid. If the APC-led Federal Government is now acting as if the protest is against it, it means the federal government has accepted to be guilty as charged. “Like I said before, I support the protest.”
Meanwhile, reactions have continued to trail Governor Fayose’s support for the planned protest by popular musician, 2Face.