Constitutional Lawyer and public affairs analyst, Liborous Oshoma joined for a critical analysis of the aftermath of the ‘protest’ planned for Saturday, 13th February at Lekki toll gate, Lagos.
“In all my life as a Nigerian and as a young student activist, there has never been a protest in Nigeria without Police presence. There was even a time when the Police would tell you to get a permit before you protest. So I didn’t expect anything less from the government this time.
“It has become illegal to be law-abiding because Nigeria is a lawless society. When you try to be law-abiding, the government will clamp down heavily on you but the more violent you are, the more government will want to negotiate with you. That is why you see some government officials proposing amnesty for bandits, whereas the citizens protesting peacefully in compliance with their constitutional rights are harassed and arrested by fully geared Policemen.”
“Let us not forget that these same people in government today, claiming that protest is illegal, once benefitted from protests and criticism in time past but now they are taking us back to the days of the military regime.”
Reacting to the statement by Lauretta Onochie, the special adviser to the President who gave kudos to the Police, asserting that the Police officers conducted themselves professionally, Liborous retorted that people like Lauretta hardly engage their brain before opening their mouths.
“If the Police commissioner in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, could admit that some of his men did not behave professionally and even proposed setting up a committee to investigate the behavior of Policemen on that day, then a Presidential aide shouldn’t be found giving kudos to the Police.”
How do you make a Police arrest on harmless civilians especially when there is no breakdown of law and order? It is obvious that the government has completely lost it! The same Police brutality that led to the #EndSars protests is at play, again Nothing was done when thugs started fighting and shooting for over one hour right in front of Police headquarters at Obalende last week Friday. We didn’t see this amount of armored Policemen that day. This goes to show indeed that the more violent you are, the more legal you will be perceived to be by the authority.
The public affairs analyst further confirmed that the Police did not allow any gathering in certain areas of Anthony village and Gbagada, even young boys were not allowed to play football. “What that tells you is that a government that is not capable of protecting its citizens against rapists, kidnappers, killers, militants, and herdsmen but only proposes amnesty to them and hound innocent protesters in ‘black marias’; is communicating to the citizens that they do not need to be law-abiding. Now, that is frightening!”
The judicial panel of inquiry was a journey to nowhere, the government did not intend to achieve anything with it, they only gave them the panel they demanded (temporarily).
In conclusion, violence cannot keep protesters at home. Good governance is what we need!