Falana reveals FG powerless to stop protests over insecurity

A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, on Sunday, February 16; revealed that the Presidency lacked the power to stop people from protesting against the service chiefs; over alleged poor handling of the country’s security challenges.

This was also in the aftermath of a statement credited to the Presidency on Saturday; which accused some politicians of mobilizing about 2, 000 Nigerians to hold rallies against the military top brass over growing insecurity in the land.

The protest, also according to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity; Garba Shehu, will take place on Monday.

However, Falana has cautioned the police authorities against harassing any protester.

The lawyer recalled how Buhari, as well as other leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC); including the immediate-past National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, and also the incumbent Minister of Transportation; Rotimi Amaechi, protested against insecurity on November 14, 2014.

According to him, Nigerians had the right to protest for and against the Federal Government; without requiring permission from the Presidency.

Falana said: “The authorities of the Nigeria Police Force are urged not to harass aggrieved Nigerians; for protesting against perceived injustice in the country.

“After all, a group of citizens was allowed to demonstrate in Abuja last week; in support of the prosecution of the counter-insurgency operations by the service chiefs.

“On that occasion, the group called on the Federal Government to expel Amnesty International from Nigeria for criticising the service chiefs.

“Without any evidence whatsoever; the Presidency has alleged that those who are calling for the replacement of the service chiefs are working for the Boko Haram sect!

“However, since Nigerians have the fundamental right to demonstrate for or against the Federal Government; without official fiat the Presidency has no power to stop any peaceful protest in the country.”

Ng daily

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