Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, has stirred the hornet’s nest on social media platforms by prohibiting protests calling for the proscription of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) and an end to police brutality.
Following protests over reports of brutality, harassment and extrajudicial killings by SARS operatives, Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police (IGP), disbanded the unit on Sunday.
However, the protests have continued because activists insist that more concrete steps must be taken on proscribing SARS since similar directives have been given in the past.
In a statement issued on Monday night by Paulinus Nsirim, commissioner for information and communications, Wike warned Rivers residents against embarking on #EndSARS protests.
A segment of social media users has labelled the governor’s directive a blatant violation of their fundamental human right and have promised to go ahead with the protest.
Here is what some Nigerians had to say:
Gov. Wike, we flew into this state today to FIGHT FOR A BETTER NIGERIA! TO WALK THE WALK! TO FIGHT FOR A BETTER TODAY AND TOMORROW!! Why should we be DEPRIVED OUR RIGHT!! whyAdvertisement
— TACHA🔱🇳🇬🇬🇭 (@Symply_Tacha) October 12, 2020
Can somebody remind wike we are in a democratic nation! 😡✊🏾 #SARSMUSTEND
— Dr Craze (@crazeclown) October 13, 2020Advertisement
When policemen laid siege on Wike's hotel at Benin we decried it because he enjoys executive immunity & can't be arrested.
Similarly, Wike can't ban the #SARSMUSTEND protest in Port Harcourt. These are constitutional issues.
— Tope Akinyode (@TopeAkinyode) October 13, 2020Advertisement
Your mustache says it all. You could have chosen to be any kind of leader you wanted. You chose to be a dictator. Do you have children? That’s a shame. LEADERS WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE for every loss of innocent life in their State. #ENDSARSOPPRESSION #EndSarsNow https://t.co/cheJ2t5VAr
— Genevieve Nnaji MFR (@GenevieveNnaji1) October 13, 2020
Dear Barrister Governor Wike!
You don't have the power to stop a peaceful protest according to Section 40 CFRN 1999 as amended.
Thank God you are a lawyer who graduated from law school.
You cannot bully the people to submission.
Help RT for him to see.#SarsMustGoNow
— TD. Cole Esq.🇳🇬 (@BolanleCole) October 13, 2020
They say Wike is a lawyer. Must have ranked amongst the last 3 in all his classes.
Crude. Zero civility.
— Nedu Ekeke #BBOG (@Nedunaija) October 13, 2020
Nyesom Wike is the biggest shocker of a disgrace and nuisance of a leader since this #SARSMUSTEND movement started. Imagine the nerve in that “order”. Such God complex. Man needs a brain surgery ASAP.
— Ayò-Bánkólé Akíntújoyè (@AyoBankole) October 13, 2020
Wike that needs to be banned is banning protest. Only in Nigeria will some nonsense happen.#EndSars #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria #SARSMUSTEND https://t.co/Wuap2tjXMi
— Aisha Yesufu (@AishaYesufu) October 13, 2020
Not surprised one bit that Wike has banned #EndSARS protests in Rivers. Just listen to him speak&the hoarseness of his voice at once gives him out as an out-and-out dictator. These #SARSMUSTEND protests have only exposed him.
Wike thinks the youth are weak; he'll find out 2moro.
— 'Fisayo Soyombo (@fisayosoyombo) October 12, 2020
Governor Wike has only gotten people more angry and made things worse when other Governors are desperately looking for solutions. Protesting is a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution. His comments might further embolden crazy police officers. #SARSMUSTEND
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) October 13, 2020
Wike bans EndSars Protest in Portharcourt???
That's their fundamental human right that Wike is trampling on..
— Tosin Olugbenga #EndSARSProtest (@TosinOlugbenga) October 12, 2020
Wike has no right to ban any peaceful protest, let him do his worst. He wasn't the one that gave us that fundamental human right but the constitution he swore to uphold.#SARSMUSTEND
— Ayemojubar 👠 (@ayemojubar) October 12, 2020
This is the only Governor in Nigeria that has banned constitutionally mandated protests. He shouldn’t go near Aso Rock. Nyesom Wike is a tyrant and must be blacklisted like Nasir Elrufai!!! https://t.co/7TNKa9YaJz
— Kingsley #EndSARS (@kingysly_01) October 12, 2020
I'm hearing Governor Wike has banned protests
Does he know he's in a democracy?
— Sars Watch 👁️ (@sars_watch) October 12, 2020
When governors are not arming SARS, they are banning rallies like Wike. They don't own Nigeria; the people do.
The Pitakwa #SARSMUSTEND march goes on
— Great Oracle (@AbdulMahmud01) October 12, 2020
The reported decision of Nyesom Wike led Rivers State Government purportedly banning the expression of the fundamental rights of citizens is disgraceful especially when you consider that the Governor is a lawyer & a member of the Body of Benchers! Plus he is married to a Judge.
— O. A. U. (@OrjiUka) October 12, 2020
Wike dey issue threats, the people are also issuing threats 😭😭😭
Can they beg them to please calm down? 😭
— #EndSARS #EndSARSNow (@marrgarritah) October 12, 2020
Nyesom Wike is cancelled. He waited till 11pm, the eve of the PortHarcourt protest to make this unconstitutional announcement. He opened the door for bloodthirsty police officers to shoot innocent Nigerians tomorrow. We will not forget, any life lost will be on his head. #EndSARS
— Ugo (@UgoIkeakor) October 12, 2020
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