The President of Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, Comrade Shehu Sani has described the ban of rallies in Kaduna by the state police high command as a violation of the freedom of assembly and speech.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olufemi Adenaike had on Tuesday announced that sequel to a State Security Council meeting which reviewed last weekend’s bloody clash during a rally organized by the Northern Youth Forum to drum up support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection bid in 2015 at the Murtala Mohammed Square, it was decided that all public gatherings be banned in the state till further notice.
He said that if such rallies or gatherings must hold, police must be informed and given enough time for proper scrutiny adding that the “Police will not play with the fragile peace in the state”.
But Mr. Sani argued that the 1999 Constitution and the recent Supreme Court ruling guarantees all Nigerians the right to lawful assembly and expression of their opinions without censure or license from security agencies or the ruling party.
“The order is an affront against civil rights and political rights of our people; it is a red flag against freedom and an evil and despotic expression by the government and the state apparatus,” he said.
He added that violence in Kaduna State or any part of Northern Nigeria should not be an expedient excuse to extinguish the flames of freedom.