Human rights and pro-democracy group, TakeItBack Movement, has urged security operatives to respect the fundamental human rights of the Nigerian people that will protest against the evils of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led regime on October 1.
The group also warned that the nation’s security agents should not attack peaceful protesters, as they flood the streets on October 1 Independence Day, adding that the 1999 Nigerian Constitution has protected them.
Recall that some groups in the country have vowed to stage demonstrations to register their displeasure against insecurity, poor economy, lawlessness, and other deficiencies that have characterised the Buhari-led administration.
The TakeItBack Movement said it will resist any form of brutality, attack or arrest that the Nigerian Police and other security operatives may be scheming against protesting citizens.
This was in a release issued by the Legal Adviser, TakeItBack Movement, Festus Ogun, which was made available to SaharaReporters on Thursday, and titled, ‘October 1st Nationwide Protest Is A Fundamental Right: Security Agencies Must Be Well Guided.’
The statement reads, “As Nigeria clocks 61, patriotic and well-meaning Nigerians will storm the streets of major cities in protest against bad governance, acute insecurity, poverty, hunger, unemployment, gross disrespect for human rights and dignity and the crude wickedness of the Buhari administration.
“Typical of the Nigerian authorities, chances are high that a clampdown will greet tomorrow’s historical protest. It is in view of this that we, at the TakeItBack Movement, remind all security agencies that tomorrow’s October 1st Protest remains a fundamental right enshrined under our extant laws in this country and no form of attack will be tolerated.
“By the combined effect of Sections 39, 40 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as altered, the right to protest is safeguarded and guaranteed as a human right that shall be enjoyed by all citizens without arbitrary restraint. Articles 6, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right equally protect the right to protest. Additionally, Articles 18-21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 fully protect the constitutional liberty to protest.
“Emphasising the sacred nature of the right to protest in a constitutional democracy, the Court of Appeal in the case of IGP V. ANPP (2008) 12 WRN 65 held that “certainly in a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies or demonstrations without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody. It is a right guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and any law that attempt to curtail such right is null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.
“Knowing fully well that Nigeria is still in the bondage of the political elites and neo-colonialism, we are compelled to remind the authorities of the need to observe all civil rules during our demonstrations tomorrow. While they can grace the historical protest, it is important to remind them that they have a duty to protect us and not arrest or assault us.
“We shall not condone any form of harassment, intimidation, brutalization or arrest. We shall resist any attempt to encroach on our constitutionally guaranteed rights. The police and other security agencies are hereby put on notice and they should be guided accordingly.
“Nothing, no one can stop an idea whose time has come. Aluta continua.”