The police on Monday banned protests over the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls in the Federal Capital Territory (FC).
The Commissioner of Police in FCT, Mr Joseph Mbu, announced the ban at a news conference in Abuja, saying the protests were posing a serious security threat.
“Accordingly, protests on the Chibok girls are hereby banned with immediate,’’ Mbu said.
He said after a group under the aegis of “Bring Back Our Girls’’ protested on April 28, another group, “Release Our Girls’’, emerged.
Mbu said information at the disposal of the command indicated that “dangerous elements’’ were about to hijack the protest, hence the ban.
“As the FCT police boss, I cannot fold my hands and watch this lawlessness.
“Information reaching us is that too soon, dangerous elements will join groups under the guise of protest and detonate explosives aimed at embarrassing the government,’’ he said.
Mbu said a situation where the `Fountain of Unity’, venue of gathering for the protest, was being turned into a place for “cooking and selling’’ was embarrassing.
According to him, many diplomats live in that area of the territory.
He called on the people of the territory to encourage the security agencies in the war against terrorism and criminality by appreciating the sacrifices they had made.
Asked whether the ban would not violate the freedom of expression and assembly, the commissioner said that one person’s freedom should not affect another person’s freedom.
“People have been protesting over a month now…it is the issue of terrorism, it is not solved in one day.
“Then, when you continue to do it persistently, it becomes nuisance to the government,’’ he said
The commissioner also announced the revocation of permits earlier issued for tinted glass vehicles in the territory.
`Yes, there is a period when permits were granted but the recent security challenges have made the police authority to revisit the issue and have resolved to revoke same.
“The permits issued so far remain revoked, you are hearing this from my mouth.
“The only authority to grant tinted glass permit is the Inspector-General of Police himself under his hand and signature,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the commissioner has redeployed all Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the FCT and directed them to hand over to the next senior police officers in their respective divisions.
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Altine Daniel, told newsmen that the decision was taken after the commissioner met with the DPOs on Monday.
“The Commissioner of Police has directed the redeployment of all Divisional Police Officers; they have to hand over to the next senior person in the various divisions.
“The commissioner of police was not satisfied with the conduct of the Divisional Police Officers,’’ she said. (NAN)