The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has warned members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) over their planned protest scheduled for Wednesday.
DAILY POST reports that the unions had planned a nationwide protest against the removal of fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu.
However, Egbetokun warned that although he is mindful of the right to peaceful protest, the police would not allow any violent rallies.
In a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, the IGP urged all parties involved to ensure that the planned demonstrations are conducted peacefully to prevent being hijacked by miscreants, especially in major cosmopolitan cities.
According to the statement, the IGP ordered the Commissioners of Police and Supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, to engage in fruitful discussions with the leadership of the labour unions to foster understanding and reach common grounds on the planned protests.
Adejobi quoted the IGP as saying that a peaceful and coordinated approach is crucial to preventing any form of violence or disruptions to public order, should the protests persist.
He said the police are committed to ensuring the safety and security of citizens during the protests, noting that all necessary measures to facilitate the peaceful conduct of the demonstrations have been put in place.
“However, it is hereby reaffirmed that any attempt by miscreants to exploit the situation for violent purposes viz-a-viz vandalism, gangsterism, and extortion will be met with a firm, professional and commensurate lawful approach. The Police will not tolerate any act that threatens the peace and well-being of our country,” the statement emphasised.
He said the police are fully prepared to deploy all resources to protect lives and property, calling on all officers to be vigilant, professional and uphold the highest standards of conduct during the protest.
The Police boss urged the union leaders and other civil society organizations to embrace peaceful dialogue as the most effective means of resolving grievances.