The governor of Nigeria’s Rivers state has banned all forms of protests in the southern state, including protests against police brutality.
Protests continued in the country on Monday even after a notorious police unit accused of unlawful arrests and murder was officially disbanded.
Governor Nyesom Wike said the ban on protests was because police had already scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).
He said there is no need for any form of protest against a unit of the police force that no longer exists and ordered a crackdown against protesters.
“Law enforcement agencies are also directed to ensure that the ban is enforced and that violators are brought to book,” his spokesperson Paulinus Nsirim said in a statement posted on Twitter:
The Rivers State Government hereby wish to inform the general public that all forms of protests have been banned throughout the State.
— Gov N E Wike Information. (@GovWike) October 12, 2020
Amnesty International Nigeria has said the governor had no authority to ban the protests. It also wants hims to be “held accountable for any violation of protesters”.
So far a police officer and a civilian have been killed in the commercial capital, Lagos, during the protests on Monday. Eyewitnesses said there were also multiple casualties among protesters after police opened fire on them in the Surulere area of the city on Monday.
An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the use of live bullets on demonstrators by the police.