FG Plans State Of Emergency In Lagos – ACN
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has alleged that the Federal Government plans to send thugs to the hitherto peaceful protests at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Lagos and other parts of the city to instigate wanton violence as a pretext for declaring a state of emergency. In a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party therefore warned the government to desist from such an act and allow the Nigerian people to continue their peaceful protests or, in the alternative, revert to the old fuel price so that the protests could end. It said that the federal government, having failed to use ethnicity, religion and the massive infusion of dirty funds to divide organised labour or frustrate the peaceful protests, might now want to try other underhand tactics to instigate trouble so that it could clamp down on citizens whose only offence was that they dared to protest against an insensitive and inhuman government policy. ACN reminded the federal government that the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and the right to protest were all part of democracy, hence no democratically-elected government could truncate these rights and still hope to maintain its sovereignty. ‘’Since the fuel strike started, we have noted the increasingly bellicose rhetoric emanating from the federal government. “We have reasons to believe that the not-too-subtle threats are a precursor to something sinister by a government that has pushed itself into a cul-de-sac, from which it is now looking for a face-saving way out. ‘’While we abhor violence as an instrument of protest – an ACN culture that is well known – we must warn that issuing military-era threats are not compatible with a democratic dispensation, and that no amount of force on earth can suppress a determined people,’’ it said. The party noted that since the nation-wide strike started on Monday, organised labour and civil society organisations have conducted themselves in a peaceful manner, even when they were confronted by a few aggressive and trigger-happy policemen. “Leaders of both Christian and Muslim faiths have been brought to show that sectarian violence cannot be used to divide the people,” the party said.