GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has come under attack for trying to ban demonstrations protesting the brutality of the Nigerian Police Force and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) across his domain.
Over the last fortnight, there have been widespread demonstrations across Nigeria and in the diaspora to protest the recent brutal killings of Sars forces. Last weekend, Sars operatives killed a young boy identified as Joshua Ambrose in cold blood in Delta State but unfortunately for them, videographer Prince Nicholas Makolomi, recorded the whole incident live.
His video, which fuelled anger across Nigeria, sparking off a series of nationwide protests, with celebrities joining in with an online campaign across social media. So fierce has been the public mood that the inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu has been forced to announce the dissolution of the Sars unit.
However, the demonstrations have continued as members of the public want those policemen responsible for the killings to be brought to book. In Rivers State for instance, protests have continued with demonstrators stepping up their campaign.
Controversial Governor Wike, who once demolished a hotel in the Rivers State capital Port Harcourt because the owner did not comply with his directives during the coronavirus lockdown, has fuelled the tension further by calling the demonstrators names. He described the described the protest as useless, noting that the inspector-general of police, had disbanded the Sars unit.
Governor Wike added: “The Rivers State government hereby wishes 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.
“Our 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.”
Irked with his comment, Nigerians have taken to Twitter to condemn the stance of the governor, saying peaceful protests are legitimate. In Port Harcourt for instance, youths ignored his so-called order and converged opposite the Pleasure Park on Aba Road began their procession carrying placards and chanting End Sars, insisting the governor had no right to ban peaceful protests.