SERAP Fumes As Police Block Amotekun Protesters In Lagos
The Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP) has frowned at the blocking of activists who planned to protest the federal government’s recent declaration of Operation Amotekun as illegal in Lagos on Tuesday.
Amotekun, which is a security outfit recently launched by governors of the South West to complement the efforts of security agencies, had been kicked against by the federal government.
The government made the position known in a statement issued from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
A group known as the Yoruba World Congress had planned on staging what it called “Amotekun Solidarity Walk” at the Gani Fawehinmi Park to demonstrate their rejection of the government’s position when the policemen blocked them.
Reacting in a series of tweets on Tuesday, SERAP described activities of the police operatives as unlawful and unconstitutional.
It said, “It’s unlawful and unconstitutional for @PoliceNG to stop Amotekun protesters or any protesters for that matter. Rather than stopping peaceful protesters from exercising their constitutional right Nigerian authorities should be protecting protesters from violent attacks by others.
“Nigerian authorities are responsible under our constitution and international law to protect peaceful protesters and ensure a safe and enabling environment for people to exercise their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
“Nigerian authorities must ensure that ALL protesters including Amotekun protesters can exercise their right to peaceful assembly. Authorities must ensure that protesters are not ill-treated and that the police are not using excessive force.
“Authorities should also take measures to address the root causes of protests and citizens’ socioeconomic and other related grievances.”