Lagos, Kogi and Cross River states have warned youths resident in their states against participating in planned June 12 protests on Saturday.
Various groups are scheduled to hold protests on June 12 – designated as Democracy Day in Nigeria – to protest against the state of the nation and the governance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The dominant protest planned across the country for Saturday is the “Buhari Must Go Campaign” organised by Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement.
But Segun Dawodu, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, has asked youths in the state to shun acts of violence and pursue peace as the nation celebrates Democracy Day on June 12.
According to a statement from the ministry, Dawodu, who spoke when he received members of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter, advised against a repeat of last year’s incident, especially the #EndSARS protest, adding that the ongoing agitation among youths on the social media should not be allowed to degenerate into chaos and public unrest.
He noted that the present administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had prioritised issues affecting youths not only in words but by actions.
The commissioner appealed to parents to watch over their children and monitor their movement in order to avoid being lured by elements with disruptive tendencies into any act capable of truncating the relative peace and tranquility enjoyed by Lagosians.
Similarly, the Kogi State Government warned those planning to stage protest in the state on June 12 to desist from such or face the full wrath of the law.
Jerry Omodara, the State Security Adviser, gave the warning on Friday while briefing newsmen on the proposed nationwide protest by some individuals across the country.
According to him, there is no reason for anyone to come out and protest in the state, adding that residents should go about their daily activities without fear or intimidation.
He warned that whoever protests in the state will have him or herself to blame.
He said: ”Available data before us have shown that Kogi is the safest state in Nigeria. As we feel the pulse of the nation, we narrow it to Kogi. The pulse of the nation right now is that there are so many online reports of a nationwide protest on June 12, 2021.
“We have looked at it and we have done our check through the Commissioner of Police, and have seen that no association, group or individuals that have applied for permission to protest, or carry out any walk. The police have not granted any permission.
“I have crosschecked with other security agencies, and we have seen that as a government, there is no reason for anyone to come out in Kogi or in any part of the state to protest on Saturday, June 12.
“It is a known fact that the state has remained peaceful. When it was COVID-19 time, the government did not shut down the state. We continued with our legitimate business. When it was time for EndSARS the Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello came out to support the youths, but the state didn’t join the EndSARS protest. This is because the government is with the people. If we are enjoying unlimited security in the state compared to what we are seeing in other parts of the country, it is important we give peace a chance.
“I have also crosscheck with the student body and they met with the Commissioner of Police on Wednesday and they stated it categorically that they won’t be part of the protest. Any youth we see tomorrow Saturday coming out to protest should have himself to blame. The governor is not going to allow anyone to disrupt the peace we are enjoying in Kogi State.”
Omodara urged parents to warn their children and wards to give peace a chance, adding that the responsibility of the government is to continue to fight insecurity.
Also, Christain Ita, the Special Adviser On Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, in a statement said the ban on processions in the state has not been lifted, noting that his administration will not allow any form of procession in order not to breach the peace in the state.
The statement read: “The Cross River state government wishes to remind the general public that the ban on public procession and gathering in the state is still very much in force.
“Due to the prevailing security situation in the country, government will not permit any procession or gathering under any guise on June 12 which is designated as Democracy Day.
“Government urges anyone or group of persons wishing to mark the June 12 Democracy Day to do so quietly within the confines of their homes.
“Parents are hereby advised to keep a firm grip on their kids and wards to prevent them from falling prey to agents of destabilisation as the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on violators of the ban on procession.
“As a responsible and people-oriented government, the Cross River state government under Professor Ayade wishes to assure all citizens that it will continue to protect lives and properties in the state.”