The Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies are deploying their operatives to man critical infrastructure and facilities as the nationwide protest organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) takes place today, Tuesday.
This is as the force warned those it called hoodlums to stay off the streets or face the law.
The NLC opted to join ASUU in its struggle after several meetings between the academic union and the government ended in deadlock.
ASUU’s demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.
The protest starting today is expected to be held at all state capitals while the mega rally would take place in Abuja on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
In a bid to prevent a security breach or attack on the participants by thugs, the police have said they are set to deploy their operatives in all protest venues nationwide, Punch reports.
A source at the Force Headquarter who spoke to Punch said, “We will deploy our men; that is standard procedure. Our duty is to ensure the safety of lives and property during any public protest or rally. We can’t stop the unions or other Nigerians from holding rallies or peaceful protests.’’
Also, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has readied its personnel to protect the protesters and Nigerians at protest grounds.
“We understand that at times like this, thugs would want to take advantage and launch their attacks. Among those we will be deploying apart from the armed and unarmed personnel are men from our intelligence department” the agency’s spokesperson, Shola Odumosu said.
Earlier, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige had cautioned the NLC and ASUU against the demonstration, saying he received a security report from the Department of State Services that the rally might be hijacked by hoodlums.
But the police have issued a warning to hoodlums that might be planning to attack protesters or hijack the protests.
Police commissioners across the country have also said their officers are ready to protect protesters and make sure they are not harassed by hoodlums.