DSS Warning against Protest Undemocratic

The Department of State Services (DSS) warning Nigerians against participating in a peaceful protest represents a troubling affront to democratic principles and civil liberties.

The DSS, in a statement, issued a warning to individuals and groups planning to stage protests on 12 June, Democracy Day in Nigeria, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.

In a nation celebrating 25 years of democracy, such actions starkly contradict the foundational values of free expression and the right to peaceful assembly.

President Bola Tinubu, in his Democracy Day speech, vowed to uphold democracy in Nigeria, so it is bewildering that the DSS appears to be standing against that.

This action undermines the spirit of democracy and also seeks to discourage citizens from exercising their constitutional rights to voice grievances and demand accountability from their government peacefully.

Furthermore, the timing of the DSS warning is particularly disconcerting. As Nigeria marks 25 years of democratic governance, one would expect a celebration of democratic norms and an affirmation of the citizens’ role in shaping their nation’s future.

Instead, the government’s attempt to suppress peaceful protest sends a message of intolerance towards opposing views and a lack of commitment to engaging with the populace’s concerns.

This action risks eroding public trust in the institutions meant to safeguard democracy and protect the rights of the people, ultimately weakening the very fabric of the democratic system Nigeria seeks to honour.

The DSS should understand that the suppression of protests violates the fundamental rights enshrined in the 1999 constitution and would also hinder the country’s progress towards a more inclusive and participatory democracy.

To truly honour 25 years of democracy, Nigeria must uphold and protect the right to peaceful assembly and ensure that all citizens can freely express their views without fear of retribution.

The DSS should respect the rights of every Nigerian to participate in a peaceful protest. The security agency should instead work with the police to provide security for citizens involved in peaceful demonstrations.

Photo source: HumAngle

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