A coalition of civic groups has urged the Nigerian government to respect the right to peaceful protests.
The group said Nigerians who have chosen to protest peacefully on June 12 must be allowed to do so without harassment from security agencies.
“The government and its security services must play by the rules and conduct themselves in ways that guarantee the safety and wellbeing of peaceful protesters,” the coalition of 40 civic groups said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
Read the full statement below.
#JUNE12PROTEST: The Nigerian Government and its Security Services must play by the rules
Nigerians from across the country have widely publicised a peaceful #June12Protest to register their displeasure at the way the country has been governed. By this statement, the Civil Society Consortium on Civic Space wish to remind the Nigerian Government and its security services that every citizen has a constitutionally guaranteed right to protest.
Making this known in a statement, Mbasekei Martin Obono, the coordinator of the Secretariat stated that, “the government and its Security Services must play by the rules and conduct themselves in ways that guarantee the safety and wellbeing of peaceful protesters.” He went further to state that, “We align ourselves with the Federal High Court judgement in the case of Charles Oputa alias Charley Boy Vs. Nigerian Police Force & 2Ors delivered on the 22nd day of October 2018, where the learned Honourable Justice John Tsoho held that using teargas or water cannons on peaceful protesters was inhuman and degrading treatment. We wish to remind the Federal Government and its security services to abide by this judgment, the constitution they swore to protect and other international instruments and desist from carrying out arbitrary arrests and use of disproportionate or unjustified force on peaceful protesters.”
We wish to remind the government of President Muhammadu Buhari that the murder of innocent citizens during the #ENDSARS protest in Lekki and other parts of Nigeria is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians and the international community. Therefore, any violation or inhumane treatment to protesting citizens will be redressed before national courts if possible or before international courts where necessary.
“We also wish to remind the government of the provisions of section 17(2)(c) of the Nigerian constitution which require that governmental actions shall be humane.”
We also call on friends of Nigeria and the international community to pay close attention to the #June12Protest and help to avert an any dangers.
1. Members of the Consortium
2. Tap Nitaitive For Citizens Development
3. African Centre For Information and Literacy (AFRICML)
4. Global Rights Nigeria
6. Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria
7. Al-habibiyyah Islamic Society
8. Inibehe Effiong Chambers
9. Cross River Watch
10.Nigerian Bar Association, Unity Bar
12.Basic Rights Council
13.HRM Dr. Etim Okon, Chairman Cross River Traditional Rulers Council
14.HRH Eze Ositadinma Nwokocha, Imo Traditional Rulers Council
15.HRH Chief Michael Akpabio, Akpabio Traditional Rulers Council
16.DASS Emirate, Bauchi State
17.Advocacy Centre For Development
18.Network of Yobe Civil Society Organizations, Yobo
19.Association of NGOs, Gombe State
20.Gombe Emirate Council
21.Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy
22.Premium Times Centre For Investigative Journalism
23.International Centre For Investigative Journalism
26.Dorothy Njemanze Foundation
29.CDD West Africa
32.Education as Vaccine
33.Centre for Liberty
34.Adopt a goal
35.Bauchi State Network of CSOs
37.Destiny Youth Foundation
38.Before 40 Youth Foundation
41.Jennon Pius & Co Legal practise
42.Accountability Lab Nigeria
43.Centre for Impact Advocacy (CiA)