Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris has issued a stern warning to members of the ‘BringBackOurGirls’, BBOG, campaign group to carry out their protest within the ambit of the law and refrain from deliberative provocation of law enforcement officers.
The campaigners have been protesting every 72 hours in the FCT, demanding to have an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Tuesday, however, a pro-Buhari group clashed with the Chibok girls campaigners, alleging that the campaign was being sponsored by supposed enemies of the Buhari administration.
IGP Idris, whose appointment was recently ratified by the Nigerian Police Council, pointed out that the BBOG protests posed a threat to public peace and order.
He explained that if the aim of protests is to draw attention to a particular issue, then the group had achieved their objective.
The IGP made the remarks in Abuja while receiving the National President of the National Council of Women Societies, NCWS, Gloria Shoda and other executive members of the association.
He said: “The police management is aware of the agitation and the plight of parents of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls and other civil groups. As parents ourselves, we sympathize with them in these trying moments.
“Evidently, the government has invested huge resources in ensuring that the girls are rescued and re-united with their various families.
“However, the activities of the “BringBackOurGirls” group in Abuja, the nation’s capital recently, is becoming worrisome and a threat to public peace and order.
“Bring Back Our Girls protagonists must understand that in the exercise of their rights, they must not trample on other peoples’ rights through “over-dramatization of emotions, self-serving propaganda and disrespect of public (office) holders.
“The police will not sit on the fence and watch such a scenario unfold. The rights of law-abiding citizens must be protected within the context of the law and we believe that enough is enough.
“I watched them on television saying they were enforcing their rights. Every citizen of this country has rights and we believe that where your right ends, the rights of others begin and we should try to conduct ourselves in such a way that everybody in the process of enforcing right, do not encroach on the rights of others.
“I believe that blocking the highway or stopping traffic and over dramatization of emotion, trying to confront and provoke policemen, I don’t think that is part of enforcement of rights because even the policemen have rights and they are doing it lawfully.
“The essence of procession is to bring the attention of the society or the government to your plight and I think the demonstration has been going on for too long. We believe and advice that it is time for them to maintain some level of control so that people of Abuja can live in peace and tranquility.
“We however ask that they tread with caution and that their grievances be channeled within the ambit of the law,” Idris added.
He drew the group’s attention to the movement of other persons as enshrined in Chapter 4 Section 41 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
“Pressure groups should not resort to arm-twisting of government in order to achieve their aim,” he added.