Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has prohibited all protest relating to #EndSARS in the state. He also warned parents to ensure that their children do not violate the law.
A statement from the state government explained that since the Inspector-General of Police had made a pronouncement on the special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, the Governor sees no reason why protesters should feel agitated.
The statement reads: “The Rivers State Government hereby wish to inform the general public that all forms of protests have been banned throughout the State. “Therefore, all proposed protests under #EndSARS Campaign are hereby prohibited.
“Government took this decision because the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had already scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. “Therefore, there is no need for any form of protest against a Unit of the Police Force that no longer exists.
“Parents and Guardians are therefore advised to ensure that their children or wards do not violate this order. “Law enforcement agencies are also directed to ensure that the ban is enforced and that violators are brought to book.”
The EndSARS protest has gained audience from within and outside Nigeria.
The ban on protests by the governor runs contrary to the provision of Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution, which guarantees to freedom of association.
Amnesty International in Nigeria said Wike must “be held accountable for any violation of protesters.”
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) October 12, 2020
In 2017, Wike blamed operatives of SARS for “most” of the robberies and kidnappings in the state.
He also said then that the unit was used by politicians to destabilize the state.
“Most of the kidnappings and armed robberies taking place in this state are done by men of SARS,” Wike said in September 2017.
“They use exhibit vehicles to operate. As the Chief Security Officer of the state, you complain, but they choose to play politics with crime.
“They fight crime in some states but they refuse to fight crime in Rivers State. We are done with the elections, but they are using SARS to create insecurity in the state. As I speak with you, they will deny.”