A campaign aimed at getting the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to be apolitical as the 2019 general election draws near is gaining momentum on micro-blogging site, Twitter.
The campaign trending with the hashtag #PoliceNotPoliticians goes alongside with #FreeDejiNow, another move aimed at freeing a political activist, Deji Adeyanju, arrested by the Police on Wednesday.
Mr Deji was picked up when he led some of his colleagues from different Civil Society Organizations to protest against alleged bias of the Police Force in recent political events across the country.
The recent development which triggered the protest is the currently ongoing fracas witnessed at the State House of Assembly in Akwa Ibom State.
POLITICS TIMES gathered that the crisis which started last week does not seems to have an end insight as at press time. It has also led to blames and counter-blames by stakeholders of the state.
Demonstrating at the Police Headquarters, the protesters asked the force to hands off its alleged partisanship as the general election.
The demonstration led to the arrest of Deji and two others, namely; Daniel Abobama and Boma Williams.
The trio were immediately arraigned at Karshi Magistrate Court, Federal Capital Territory for criminal offences of Joint Act, Criminal defamation, Disturbance of public peace, Threat to public security and safety and inciting public disturbance under the Penal Code Law, according to a statement released by the force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood.
They were granted bail but failed to meet their bail conditions as at Wednesday’s evening. They have been remanded to Prison custody in Keffi.
Nigerians on social media, precisely on Twitter, are not backing down on the demand for the release of those arrested. Some of the reactions captured by POLITICS TIMES are reproduced below.
“The arrest of @adeyanjudeji for peacefully protesting about the shameful behaviour of the police in Akwa Ibom and elsewhere represents the last kick of a govt. that can best be described as a dying horse. I condemn it and I call for Deji’s immediate and unconditional release,” Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Aviation Minister, said in a tweet Wednesday evening.
“Deji Adeyanju should be freed unconditionally or should be charged to court,” a Senator, Shehu Sani, said in reaction.
“When and how did Nigerians lose their fundamental human right to peacefully protest and demand for better performance from their public officers and institutions?” Charley Boy, convener of OurMumuDonDo movement queried.
“How can a peaceful protest of #PoliceNotPoliticians be called defamation of character & disturbance of public peace by the @PoliceNG. You think you’re doing @MBuhari @ProfOsinbajo a favor in 2019. @NGRPresident has a chance to prove to us that they are no tyrants. #FreeDejiNow,” Ayodeji Obanla, @dejiobabillions tweeted.
“In a democracy, citizens should be allowed to protest and ventilate their views and grievances. Anything short of this is dictatorship. Full stop. #FreeDejiNow,” Ohimai Amaize, @MrFixNigeria posted.
“Nigerians know that the @PoliceNG have been awfully a part of various election misdemeanor in the history of this country, having a #PoliceNotPoliticians protest is good for our democracy. You are meant to protect us and not aid madness. Protests are rights #FreeDejiAdeyanju,” Ayo George, @iamayogeorge said in his reaction.