Journalism of Courage

June 12 protest: Avoid protest areas, keep low profile, US mission warns citizens

The US consulate gave the warning in an advisory on Friday titled, "Demonstration Alert: US Mission Nigeria (June 11, 2021) – Nationwide Protests on Democracy Day.’'

Ahead of planned protest by some Nigerians over bad governance and insecurity on June 12, the United States of America Mission in Nigeria has warned American citizens, especially those in Abuja and Lagos to be security conscious and avoid protest areas.

It also urged its citizens to avoid areas of the demonstrations, exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests, monitor local media for updates and keep a low profile.

The US consulate gave the warning in an advisory on Friday titled, “Demonstration Alert: US Mission Nigeria (June 11, 2021) – Nationwide Protests on Democracy Day.’’

Persecondnews quotes from the statement: “Several groups have announced their intentions to protest nationwide on June 12, Democracy Day.

“Police presence and response can be expected nationwide, including in Abuja where government events are scheduled to celebrate the national holiday and in Lagos where simultaneous protests are planned.

“The likely locations for the protests in Abuja will be at Unity Fountain (Hilton Hotel area), Wuse, Berger Roundabout, Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Airport Road, and British Circle.

“In Lagos, the likely locations for protests will be Lekki Toll Gate and Gani Fawehinmi Park. Calls for the protests suggest they may begin as early as 07:00 a.m.

“Actions to Take: Avoid the areas of the demonstrations; Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests; Monitor local media for updates; keep a low profile and avoid the areas where the protests will hold.”

Meanwhile, The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has postponed its planned June 12 nationwide protest, citing safety of its members.

The President of the association, Mr Sunday Asefon, said in a statement on Friday in Abuja, that “some politicians with different agenda have perfected plans to hijack the protest to ventilate their political opinions and sentiments.”

According to the Asefon, the association’s planned protest was aimed at decrying the insecurity in the country, especially the serial abductions of students.

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“Having considered the current security realities and the danger to the lives of our members in case of possible hijack of the planned protest, I in consultation with all the structures of NANS, therefore, announce the suspension of our proposed protest for June 12.

“The suspension of the protest is necessary to avoid a clash of interest and clash with security agencies that are on red alert to protect the nation’s infrastructures from security breaches, on the proposed date as a result of many other protests slated for the date.

“We intend to protest for better security and improved welfare for our students, we must therefore not put the life of any of our students at risk to ventilate our grievances,” the president of the association stated.

Asefon said a new date would be announced for their demonstration later.

In the meantime, paramilitary agencies have begun the deployment of personnel across states to ensure a peaceful and hitch-free Democracy Day celebrations.

Persecondnews recalls that June 12 Democracy Day nationwide protest gathered momentum on June 1, 2021, when some Nigerians from various walks of life expressed support to mobilise and take to the street to seek an end to what they called bad governance in the country.

According to various publicity posters, the June 12 Protest will make 14 critical demands which includes: abolish 1999 constitution; end terrorism; end banditry; Isa Pantami must go (Minister of Communications and Digital Economy); free all detained activists; end insecurity and justice for all EndSARS victims.

Others demands are Free Kogi2 (Two anti-President Muhammadu Buhari protesters – Larry Emmanuel and Victor Anene Udoka – who have been detained in Kogi State); Buhari Must Go; revert electricity tariffs; end ASUP (Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics) strike; revert fuel price; revert party deregistration, and free Nicholas Mbah.

Persecondnews reports that democracy day was initially marked on May 29 in Nigeria, but was changed in 2018 by the Federal Government to June 12.

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