In what is seeming like a preparation of a showdown in the capital of Cross Rivers State in Nigeria, Port Harcourt, the state Governor, Nyesom Wike has announced that he has banned the upcoming protests.
This is on the back of ongoing nationwide protests by the youths of Nigeria on the unfair treatment they have been receiving from the system and its security forces, which they term as being “anti-youth.”
It is still unclear if a governor has the authority to ban or impede the rights of citizens to demonstrate as is enshrined in the democratic constitution of the country.
In a twitter thread posted by the governor, he said that: “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.”
Wike continues the thread saying: “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. Paulinus Nsirim Commissioner for Information.”
In truth the IGP and Presidency have announced the banning of SARS, but it appears that the young people of the country do not trust their politicians anymore as this isn’t the first time the unit is being “banned.” History shows that the same department had been banned in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2020, but over the years the directives did not seem to change anything, thus the young people are determined to see that the department is truly finished this time.
Despite the governor’s claim of a ban, it appears that the young people of Port Harcourt are not willing to back down on today’s protests. They are insisting on their unalienable rights to protests, with some even willing to to go head-on with security forces that might be deployed. The rate of increasing anger on both sides appears to be hitting a crescendo that could degenerate into a massive national upheaval if not properly managed with cool heads.
Irumole enjoys writing, music, swimming and dancing. She is a sucker for information and also loves food 🙂