The Kogi State Government has warned that the state will not tolerate any protest on Saturday, June 12.
It said protesters must be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
Though the State Security Adviser, Commodore Jerry Omodara, said no group of persons had indicated interest in protesting, he still warned prospective protesters on Friday to stay away from Kogi, while briefing journalists on the proposed nationwide protest slated for June 12, Democracy Day.
He said, “Available data before us has 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 12th 2021.
“We have looked at it, and we have done our check through the Commissioner of Police, and there is 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 cross-checked 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 the time for EndSARS, 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 cross-checked with the student body and they met with the Commissioner of Police on Wednesday and they stated 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.”
“It is not that the challenges we are having in other states, we are not feeling them here, but the government is making a serious effort to nip them before they emanate. Just three days ago, three suspects with army uniform came out in Ajaokuta Local Government Area, the security agency came out and confronted them, and they brought them down.
”The Government will keep on appreciating what the people of Kogi State are doing. Giving us relevant information, as well as supporting the security agencies will go a long way in combating insecurities. Let no one obstruct businesses, or obstruct movement of people. This is a warning. I have instructed the security agencies. If you see them patrolling, don’t be afraid. They are only going out to keep peace. People should continue their normal businesses.”
The government of Governor Yahaya Bello is notorious for human rights abuses.
Two Buhari-must-go protesters, Larry Emmanuel and Victor Udoka, have been detained by the Kogi State Government since April 5 despite national and international voices calling for their release.
They were humiliated, arrested and detained for pasting anti-President Muhammadu Buhari posters in the state.