Organising a protest is no easy feat. For a PEACEFUL protest to hold in a country, the organisers of the protest must formally inform the police or security agencies; and their presence must be requested to maintain law and order and protect the safety of the attendees.
- The presence of the police will discourage hoodlums who might want to use that guise to perpetrate their evil acts.
- Emotions run high during such protests and it’s important for the police to be on ground to calm situations down before they escalate to loss of lives and properties.
- It is also a working day, where other citizens who are not part of the protest will want to go about their normal business. Notifying the police before hand will help them to plan the flow of traffic, and inform the general public before hand of the proposed protest, for those who’ll be affected to plan alternative routes to their destination.
This is how I have seen it done in the sane environment where I live. I work in Central London and I witness staged protests at least twice in a week, with the police on ground to provide security.
Nigerians who have held protests in this country can also testify to this fact. They need to inform and receive the approval of the police before they proceed with their public protest.
If the application is denied, the police will give reasons – either inability to provide the numbers of police officers required for the kind of protest or clash of dates with another protest. Indeed, there are many reasons.
If the organisers go ahead with the protest without police approval, then they are breaking the law.
Do you even know that photographers can’t just carry camera and start shooting in public places with flash and lighting without the approval of the Local Council Authority? Same with shooting movies.
So how can you want to hold a protest of this magnitude in a country like Nigeria, and Lagos to be precise, and not inform the police?
When (not if) things go out of hand and people die, the government will still be blamed, whereas the police was not informed!
If the organisers of this protest can’t get something this simple right, are they capable of organising a protest of this magnitude?
Regardless of what you want to achieve with the protest, the safety of the attendees must be guaranteed.
My people, are you paying attention?
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