Governor Nyesom Wike’s ban on public protests in Rivers State could not deter Port Harcourt residents from joining the #EndSARS protests which is currently going on in different parts of Nigeria.
The Rivers State government, in a statement on Monday, said it was needless for the people to go ahead with the #EndSARS protest since SARS has already been scrapped by the police.
The statement said law enforcement agencies have been directed to enforce the ban and “bring violators to book.”
Protesters, however, on Tuesday morning, marched to the Government House, where the protest leaders are expected to present their grievances against police brutality, to the Rivers State government.
“Solidarity forever! Solidarity forever! Solidarity forever!” the crowd of protesters sang as they marched through the road.
Some of the protesters said it would be a great relief for Nigerian citizens if SARS officials are deployed to Sambisa forest to fight Boko Haram terrorists, instead of brutalising innocent citizens.
“As I speak to you, youth numbering over 10,000 are gathered here for the #EndSARS protest,” Ejit Josiah, programme officer, We the People organization, Rivers State, told PREMIUM TIMES, around 11a.m.
“We are right now in front of the Government House, Port Harcourt,” Mr Josiah said.
The Port Harcourt protest has been peaceful, so far.
A handful of police officers and other security officials stood by and calmly watched the protesters.
Mr Josiah the “overwhelming” number of people participating in the protest was an indication that Governor Wike’s ban on protest in Rivers State “fell on deaf ears”.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday announced the “dissolution” of SARS, a police unit notorious for its brutality against innocent citizens.
The dissolution followed a nationwide protest and call for the scrapping of SARS.
Despite the police announcement, protesters have continued to march through the streets in various parts of the country.
The protests have generally been peaceful, except in some places where the police deployed force and fired live bullets and teargas to disperse protesters.