By Bola (sizzle)
Following last Monday’s protest by the students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) over rustication of some of their union executives, a popular student of Lagos State University (LASU), and one of the Alutanews writers, Comr. Yusuf Wasiu (Ijoba Wasusu), has lashed out at the authorities who arrest students for leading or participating in peaceful protests, insisting that peaceful protest is a guaranteed right of all persons, especially students.
Comr. Yusuf says, “in present day Nigeria, clearly police permit has outlived its usefulness. Certainly, in a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies or demonstrations without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody. It is a right guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and any law that attempts to curtail such rights is null and void and of no consequence.
Having regard to the authoritative pronouncement of the Court of Appeal on the fundamental rights of Nigerians to freedom of assembly and expression through peaceful rallies and protests, the Federal Government should restrain the police and other security agencies from further harrasing or intimidating student protesters. At the same time, those who wish to demonstrate against official policies considered inimical to their interests should realise that there is a corollary duty on them to conduct themselves peacefully. Otherwise, they may run foul of certain provisions of the criminal or penal code and be liable to prosecution”, he added.