Several youths around the country have decided to embark on a nationwide protest on 12th June and preparations have been concluded, the flyers and take off points for the protest has been in circulation for some days now.
The organizers of the protests have made their demands which includes calling on the federal government to ensure that; the incessant killings and insecurity in the country is ended, social media shutdown is removed, an emergency inter-regional dialogue committee is convened within a month.
Many prominent activists are heavily involved in this protest and several Nigerians overseas are also protesting in their countries of residence. It is a known fact that every citizen of Nigeria has a right to protest, but we must understand and take note of the risks involved in staging a protest at this time in the country.
It is easy to organize a protest but extreme difficult to control protesters, it is also easy for a sincere protest to be hijacked by hoodlums.
We can recall what happened towards the end of the #Endsars protest, most of us remember that the protest was hijacked and hoodlums used that opportunity to steal, they caused lots of damages including burning police stations.
This is one of the most unsafe time to organize a protest due to the rising scourge of insecurity in the country, the organizers of this protest should have thoughts of this before making the decision to stage this protest.
These three abd things may happen tomorrow during the June 12 protest.
- The protest may be hijacked by hoodlums;
Like the example given above, it is almost very possible for the protest to be hijacked by hoodlums, we can all agree that the security structure in some of the regions is weak due to incessant attacks by either bandits, unknown gunmen and terrorists. Places like Lagos State that has witnessed a recent increase in broad daylight robberies is not suitable for a protest.
The intention of the protesters may be genuine but once it is hijacked by hoodlums even their own safety may not be guaranteed.
- There May Be Conflict Between Protesters and Security Operatives.
This is one bitter truth that some people may not want to admit, the mentality of an average Nigerian protester is that the police is trying to stop them from protesting. They do not realize that even though the police is there to protect them during protest, it is also the duty of the police to guide against damage of public infrastructure and also stop them from crossing boundaries.
If you have been to any of the protests recently in Nigeria you will agree that some protesters are so violent and do many unlawful things in the name of protesting. They treat security operatives like kids and shout at them on every little opportunity.
- Bandits and Killer Herdsmen May Seize the Opportunity to Kidnap Citizens.
The present trend of abductions and attacks by bandits and killer herdsmen in some regions has made this upcoming protest a very serious risk to take. These bandits who have been abducting innocent citizens are probably aware of the planned protest and they may see this as an opportunity to abduct people in large numbers in some states.
Some days ago, suspected killer herdsmen attacked a community in Oyo State, they were reported to have fled to Osun State after that and are still attacking people, these states should be careful during the protest.
It may be very risky for states like Benue, Kebbi Plateau and other states in that region to join in the protest due to possibility of bandits attack.
How to avoid these three things
- To avoid these things from happening, protesters should be well organized and law-abiding. They should respect security operatives around them and conduct themselves in a peaceful manner.
- They should observe their environment and alert security operatives if they notice any strange gathering or strange faces in their midst towards the later part of the protest.
The protest should be staged mostly in towns and cities but not in rural areas. Protesters should get contacts of policemen and patrol teams close to them and call in case of emergency or any suspicious movement.
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