Subsidy protest: Nigeria Police ban bonfire, roadblocks

Albert Akpor
& Evelyn Usman

13 January 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS — As the strike called by Nigeria’s organised labour and civil society organisations enters its 5th day, the Police High Command, Thursday, banned the use of bonfire and road blocks by protesters, threatening to arrest anyone or group of persons who violated the directive.

This came as doctors have been advised to use their discretion to treat patients with bullet wounds before requesting for police report.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Administration, Mr Azubuiko Udah, who met with senior police officers, comprising Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos and various Commissioners of Police, heading police formations and departments in Lagos, said the ban became necessary as innocent civilians have had their valuables dispossessed by hoodlums, who use such means to carry out their nefarious activities.

He noted that, Thursday, the Third Mainland Bridge was barricaded by bandits, who posed as protesters, only to rob unsuspecting motorists who stopped on reaching the point. The swift arrival of policemen, however, sent them away.

Udah advised the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), to call their members to order.

Aside the attack on innocent Nigerians, Udah noted that bonfire was not only capable of destroying the road but could also destroy Federal Government’s facilities buried underground.

On the command’s position on refusal by medical practitioners to treat patients with bullet wounds without police report, Udah said: “The doctor in question should use his discretion considering the patient’s state. He can start treatment on the patient while provision of police report is in progress.”

Udah frowned at the action of the DPO, who shot four persons on the first day of the on-going strike in Ogba, Lagos, saying findings would soon be made public.

He explained that a policeman was only allowed to open fire when his life was in danger.

He said the DPO did not act on any directive from the Police High Command, adding that every police officer was briefed on how to comport himself prior to the strike.

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