Group kicks over alleged refusal by Police to approve its rally in Abuja
Coalition for the Protection of Democracy (COPDEM) has criticised a Commissioner of Police for refusing to grant permit for the group to hold a rally in Abuja.
COPDEM and other groups said they had written to the Police in a letter dated September 11, 2023, to inform the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Commissioner of its intention to organise a “Pray for Nigeria” rally on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at City Park, Ahmadu Bello Way, Wuse, FCT.
In a statement signed by COPDEM Spokesman, Danjuma Garba, they said the Police directed the group not to organise any rally at the City Park, or in any part of the FCT.
The group noted that the Police has allowed Asari Dokunbo’s group to organise rallies in FCT, but preventing pro-democracy groups from organising rallies in the same city that is supposed to be built on fairness, equity, and justice.
“The same commissioner of police has in fact, issued a permit for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to celebrate their 100 days in office in the presence of the applicants,” the group said in the statement.
COPDEM said it is saddening that Nigerian Police declined our request for permission to hold a rally at City Park, Ahmadu Bello Way, Wuse, FCT, on September 12, 2023.
“It is an undisputed fact that Nigerians’ rights to protest are safeguarded under sections 38, 39, 40, and 41 of the 1999 Constitution.
“It is a fundamental right of the people to voice out their displeasures, disappointments, and frustrations.
“Therefore, the action of the Police is not acceptable in any democratic environment. It is disheartening that a security agency that is expected to be neutral is being partial and current developments show that the Police have no regards for the constitution.
“We, therefore, condemn the action of the Police Commissioner and hereby serve public notice that every Nigerian has the right to engage in public rallies and/or protests with or without a Police Permit,” the group declared.
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