[QODLink]
Africa

Nigeria police say no schoolgirls protest ban

Official says commissioner had only meant to advise against protests a day after apparent ban on Chibok demonstrations.

Last updated: 04 Jun 2014 04:59
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Police on Monday banned protests over the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram [Al Jazeera]

Nigerian police said protesters were free to march in the capital Abuja, after an uproar over comments by the police commissioner in which he appeared to ban demonstrations over 223 schoolgirls kidnapped by rebels and still missing.

Joseph Mbu made a statement on Monday which forbade protests on the grounds that they could be hijacked by "dangerous elements" who could threaten state security.

Protesters said they would challenge the ban in court on Tuesday, and they filed a complaint at noon local time.

But a statement from police spokesman Frank Mba on Tuesday said the commissioner had only meant to advise against gatherings because of intelligence that there was "infiltration and hijack of otherwise innocuous and peaceful protests by some criminal elements having links with insurgents".

"The force has not issued any order banning peaceful assemblies/protests anywhere in Nigeria," Mba said.

"However, ... citizens are strongly advised to reconsider their positions on the issues of rallies and protests in FCT until the existing threats are appropriately neutralised," he said, referring to the Federal Capital Territory around Abuja.

The girls were snatched from the northeastern village of Chibok, near the Cameroon border, on April 14.

Much of the anger among protesters has been directed towards the government for failing to protect the girls.

President Goodluck Jonathan's supporters say the protesters' anger should be directed at Boko Haram, and that constant criticism of the military is misplaced and demoralising.

Meanwhile, a leading newspaper in the west African country reported on Tuesday that 10 generals and five other senior military officials were found guilty of providing arms and information to Boko Haram by a court-martial. The news follows months of allegations from politicians and soldiers.

 

 

266

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.