- Governor Wike has ordered River state not to protest against SARS and police
- The governor said there is no more need because SARS has been scrapped
- Meanwhile, Nigerians said the governor has no right to ban any protest in the state
As protesters gear up to take to the streets of Rivers state calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the reformation of the Nigeria Police Force, Governor Nyesom Wike has banned any form of protest against the police.
Wike disclosed this in a statement signed by Paulinus Nsirim, the state's commissioner for information and communications.
According to him, the decision was taken, given the fact that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had already scrapped SARS.
The governor also called on security agencies to ensure that the protest must not take place.
The statement read in full:
"The Rivers state government hereby wish to inform the general public that all forms of protests have been banned throughout the state.
Therefore, all proposed protests under #EndSARS campaign are hereby prohibited.
Government took this decision because the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had already scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Therefore, there is no need for any form of protest against a Unit of the Police Force that no longer exists.
Parents and guardians are therefore advised to ensure that their children or wards do not violate this order.
Law enforcement agencies are also directed to ensure that the ban is enforced and that violators are brought to book."
Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, Nigerians on social media have criticised the governor for making such a statement. According to them, it is their right to protest.
Oliver Brix wrote:
"The last paragraph of this press release is dictatorial, autocratic, insensitive and totally uncalled for in this circumstance. There is no empathy, it is offensive to the sensibilities of the victims of SARS in the state. Are you saying security agents should do what to any protester on the streets? A word of appeal to the populace would have registered a sense of solidarity in the heart of the people. This is shamefully disgusting and unbecoming of my governor."
Geoff Pega added:
"Governor Wike, this is wickedness. I never have doubt if you will not be more wicked than Buhari in terms of people's engagement. This statement is like those of military administrators under General Abacha terror regime.
If anything happens to any protester in Rivers state, Governor Wike should be held responsible!"
Wisdom E. Nwansi
"It's unfortunate that these people still think that they can still dish out orders! Who you be to prohibit the masses from exercising their civil rights? Oga park well make the wave no carry you. Which kind rubbish talk be that?"
Olusola Jacobs II
"Gov Nyeson Ezenwo Wike, the Right to protest is a Right which must be jealously protected by citizens! You lack both the constitutional will and political will to tamper with fundamentals!!! Be circumspect!
Be cultured! Be disciplined! We remain undeterred by you and your weaklings.... #SARSMUSTEND #ENDSARSNOW"
Hon Uchechukwu Elechi
"You are the People's servant. You have no such right to deny the people their right to peacefully protest.
Don't think yourself what you're not, it could have a disastrous effect Mr Governor!"
Linda Chioma Ekene-Okwunma
"This is absolute tyranny. To think that you are a Lawyer and should know better is distasteful. Shame on you and the democracy you represent. You have absolutely no right to ban any citizen of Nigeria from protesting. You are an enemy of the people."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that IGP Mohammed Adamu assured Nigerians that the training of a new police unit to take over from the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will commence next week.
Adamu gave the assurance when pop artiste, David Adeleke aka Davido, visited him in his office on Monday, October 12, over the ongoing #EndSARS protests.
Buhari, EndSARS now - Abuja protesters cry | Legit TV