Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors' Forum, has said the police cannot stop the planned protest by Nigerian singer, Innocent Idibia.
The governor, in a statement issued by his special assistant on public communications and new media, Lere Olayinka, noted that the APC-led federal government must be made to understand that “leadership is about accountability. To be accountable, leaders must listen to public opinion either by civil or peaceful protest.
2Baba is planning a massive protest against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari on February 6 following the harsh economic experiences that has hit the the country.
The police had said it would scuttle the protest in Lagos state, but Fayose said apart from section 40 of the 1999 constitution, which provided that every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, the Court of Appeal already affirmed that protests or gatherings do not require police permit or interference.
He said: “The duty of the police to secure Nigerians is mandatory, and not optional. Therefore, if there is any intelligence report suggesting the possibility of criminals hijacking the process, it is the duty of the police to provide security cover for the protesters."
“Court of Appeal affirmed in its judgement in Inspector General of Police Vs All Nigerians Peoples Party that protest or gathering do not require police permit or interference as obtainable in advanced democracy.
“Most importantly, the protest is said to be for and about good governance. So who is afraid of the protest? Who does the police represents or is representing in this issue?"
"If Nigerians want to show their anger, no one should prevent them. Nepotism, extra judicial killings, disobedience to court order and human rights abuses must stop.
“The conscience is an open wound and the guilty is afraid. If the APC-led federal government is now acting as if the protest is against it, it means the federal government has accepted to be guilty as charged.
“Like I said before, I support the protest.”