THE Federal Capital Territory, FCT Police Command has identified disturbance of public peace and a near breakdown of law and order in the nation’s capital, Tuesday, as possible reasons it clamped down on anti-Buhari protesters.
The police explained that the protest which was going on at the Unity Fountain got its attention to intervene when it was turning volatile following infiltration by hoodlums. It said some miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements had infiltrated the protest being carried out by a group of concerned Nigerians under the aegis of “Our-Mumu-Don-do Movement”, led by famous Nigerian musician, Charles Oputa popularly known as “Charlie Boy”.
The FCT Police Command, in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manza, in Abuja, today said the group carried out their protest on Monday at the same venue were accorded necessary police presence to safe guard public safety and public peace, and protect their rights to freedom of expression, rights to peaceful Assembly and Association, and right to freedom of movement as provided for in sections 39, 40, and 41 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The statement reads: “Today 8th August, 2017 the same group assembled at the same venue but allowed miscreants, hoodlums and other unruly individuals to infiltrate the protests, who started blocking the major roads adjoining the Unity fountain, obstructing traffic and preventing movements of other innocent citizens from going to their means of livelihood, and thereby exhibiting unruly behaviours and other violent acts very likely to cause the breakdown of law and order and disturbance of public peace.
“The Police personnel intervened at the point that the concerned Nigerians Group lost control of the crowd and prevented miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements from hijacking the protest to cause mayhem and chaos.
“It is pertinent to state here that the FCT Police command is fully aware and recognizes the constitutional rights of every citizen including Our Mumu Dondo group to assemble and move freely in any part of the Federal Capital Territory, but the command will not allow any protest under any guise to turn violent and jeopardize the prevailing peace, law and order currently being enjoyed in the FCT.
“The command wishes to assure all residents and visitors to the territory of adequate security and protection of lives and property of everyone including those who choose to express their constitutional rights of protest with decorum.
“Consequently, members of the public, parents and guardians, religious/opinion leaders and other interest groups are advised to prevail on their children and wards, followers and adherents not to allow themselves to be used by any group to cause disturbance of public peace and break down of law and order,” the statement added.