The Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, on Monday banned all protests aimed as securing the release of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, Borno State in the FCT with immediate effect.
Mbu, who announced the ban at a news conference in Abuja, said that the trend of the protest in the FCT was posing a serious security threat.
“Accordingly, protests on the Chibok girls are hereby banned with immediate effect. As the FCT police boss, I cannot fold my hands and watch this lawlessness (protests). Information reaching us is that very soon, dangerous elements will join groups under the guise of protest and detonate explosives aimed at embarrassing the government,’’ he said.
He said that after a group under the aegis of “Bring Back Our Girls’’ protested on April 28, another group “Release Our Girls’’ emerged.
Mbu, a former Rivers State Police Commissioner, said that information at the disposal of the command indicated that “dangerous elements” were about to hijack the protest hence the ban.
Mbu said that 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.
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 and would continue to make.
Asked whether the ban would not violate the freedom of expression and assembly of the protesters, the commissioner said that one person’s freedom should not affect other peoples’ 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 a nuisance to the government,” he noted.