Protest

10
Jun
14:56 UTC

Nigeria Tactical: Civil society anti-government protests slated to take place nationwide including in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt on June 12; avoid nonessential travel

Please be advised

  • Reports indicate that civil society organizations and human rights activists have called for nationwide protests on June 12 alongside Nigeria’s Democracy Day, a public holiday held to commemorate the transition from military to civilian government in 1999.
  • In Lagos, protests are slated to take place at Gani Fawehinmi Park from 07:00 (local time).

  • In Abuja, protests are slated to take place at Unity Fountain from 07:00 (local time).

  • In Port Harcourt, protests are slated to take place at Pleasure Park from 08:00 (local time).

  • Protests are expected to be held nationwide, with demonstrations planned in at least 31 cities.
  • Reports indicate that the protests are being organized under the Peoples Alternative Political Movement (PAPM), a civil society umbrella group consisting of several different trade unions, human rights organizations, labor representations, and other activists across the country.
  • Reports indicate that the protests are held to voice grievances over various issues, including the increased insecurity nationwide, the dire socio-economic conditions, police brutality, and the suppression of basic civic freedoms among others. The protests are expected to specifically call for President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation.
  • The Nigeria Association of Nigerian Students has declared that it would join the June 12 protest to express concerns over the frequent abductions of students in the northwestern states in recent months.
  • Reports indicate that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has directed the police to “firmly” act against any individual or group attempting to undermine internal security. At the same time, he urged forces to remain civil with law-abiding citizens.
  • Meanwhile, security deployments in Lagos were reportedly enhanced over President Buhari’s visit to the city on June 10.

Assessments & Forecast

  1. The June 12 protests come amid heightened tensions and increasing public criticism against President Buhari’s administration, further exacerbated by the government’s decision to ban Twitter on June 4. Additionally, the June 12 protest movement resembles an amorphous civil society movement with a wide-reaching socio-political relevance due to its wide agenda, including economic, political, and security issues which has gathered increasing momentum through the support of prominent political and civil society activists. That said, the protests have likely been deliberately planned to coincide with Democracy Day celebrations to capitalize on the day’s symbolic sentiments to gather stronger momentum and support.
  2. FORECAST: Given the strong momentum and increasing anti-government sentiment, these protests could witness a relatively large turnout in the low to mid-thousands, particularly in Lagos and Abuja. Furthermore, there exists the heightened possibility of protests manifesting spontaneously across Lagos, including near government buildings and police stations, as well as other sensitive locations such as Lekki Toll Gate or the University of Lagos, as witnessed during the #EndSARS movement in October 2020. That said, there remains the distant possibility of potential protesters refraining from taking to the streets given the precedent of a harsh security response to anti-government mobilization.
  3. In this context, the IGP’s call for the police to demonstrate a sense of restraint against law-abiding citizens is notable suggesting a sense of official concern over the demonstrations potentially escalating into prolonged anti-government protests such as the #EndSARS movement. At the same time, the stern warning against those perceived to “undermine internal security” conveys the government’s entrenched intolerance towards dissent and disposition to forcefully react even to peaceful anti-government protests, which is poised to further heighten the tensions.
  4. FORECAST: The police are likely to enhance their presence around protest venues and other sensitive locations across major cities, in the form of roadblocks and checkpoints designed to prevent anti-government protesters from gathering. The police are also likely to use forcible measures to prevent such gatherings from taking place, including the use of arrests and batons. In the case of perceived unruly behavior, the police are likely to escalate their response and use tear gas and rubber bullets, and under extreme circumstances even live ammunition. Furthermore, traffic disruptions can be anticipated throughout major cities, especially in the vicinity of protest gathering points.

Recommendations

Those operating or residing in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, on June 12 are advised to avoid nonessential travel to the vicinity of the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Lagos, Unity Fountain in Abuja and the Pleasure Park in Port Harcourt as well as other large gatherings due to the slated protest and the associated potential of a security crackdown.

COUNTRY RISK LEVEL High
AFFECTED AREA Nationwide, Nigeria
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL High
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Credible

Please be advised

  • Reports indicate that civil society organizations and human rights activists have called for nationwide protests on June 12 alongside Nigeria’s Democracy Day, a public holiday held to commemorate the transition from military to civilian government in 1999.
  • In Lagos, protests are slated to take place at Gani Fawehinmi Park from 07:00 (local time).

  • In Abuja, protests are slated to take place at Unity Fountain from 07:00 (local time).

  • In Port Harcourt, protests are slated to take place at Pleasure Park from 08:00 (local time).

  • Protests are expected to be held nationwide, with demonstrations planned in at least 31 cities.
  • Reports indicate that the protests are being organized under the Peoples Alternative Political Movement (PAPM), a civil society umbrella group consisting of several different trade unions, human rights organizations, labor representations, and other activists across the country.
  • Reports indicate that the protests are held to voice grievances over various issues, including the increased insecurity nationwide, the dire socio-economic conditions, police brutality, and the suppression of basic civic freedoms among others. The protests are expected to specifically call for President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation.
  • The Nigeria Association of Nigerian Students has declared that it would join the June 12 protest to express concerns over the frequent abductions of students in the northwestern states in recent months.
  • Reports indicate that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has directed the police to “firmly” act against any individual or group attempting to undermine internal security. At the same time, he urged forces to remain civil with law-abiding citizens.
  • Meanwhile, security deployments in Lagos were reportedly enhanced over President Buhari’s visit to the city on June 10.

Assessments & Forecast

  1. The June 12 protests come amid heightened tensions and increasing public criticism against President Buhari’s administration, further exacerbated by the government’s decision to ban Twitter on June 4. Additionally, the June 12 protest movement resembles an amorphous civil society movement with a wide-reaching socio-political relevance due to its wide agenda, including economic, political, and security issues which has gathered increasing momentum through the support of prominent political and civil society activists. That said, the protests have likely been deliberately planned to coincide with Democracy Day celebrations to capitalize on the day’s symbolic sentiments to gather stronger momentum and support.
  2. FORECAST: Given the strong momentum and increasing anti-government sentiment, these protests could witness a relatively large turnout in the low to mid-thousands, particularly in Lagos and Abuja. Furthermore, there exists the heightened possibility of protests manifesting spontaneously across Lagos, including near government buildings and police stations, as well as other sensitive locations such as Lekki Toll Gate or the University of Lagos, as witnessed during the #EndSARS movement in October 2020. That said, there remains the distant possibility of potential protesters refraining from taking to the streets given the precedent of a harsh security response to anti-government mobilization.
  3. In this context, the IGP’s call for the police to demonstrate a sense of restraint against law-abiding citizens is notable suggesting a sense of official concern over the demonstrations potentially escalating into prolonged anti-government protests such as the #EndSARS movement. At the same time, the stern warning against those perceived to “undermine internal security” conveys the government’s entrenched intolerance towards dissent and disposition to forcefully react even to peaceful anti-government protests, which is poised to further heighten the tensions.
  4. FORECAST: The police are likely to enhance their presence around protest venues and other sensitive locations across major cities, in the form of roadblocks and checkpoints designed to prevent anti-government protesters from gathering. The police are also likely to use forcible measures to prevent such gatherings from taking place, including the use of arrests and batons. In the case of perceived unruly behavior, the police are likely to escalate their response and use tear gas and rubber bullets, and under extreme circumstances even live ammunition. Furthermore, traffic disruptions can be anticipated throughout major cities, especially in the vicinity of protest gathering points.

Recommendations

Those operating or residing in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, on June 12 are advised to avoid nonessential travel to the vicinity of the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Lagos, Unity Fountain in Abuja and the Pleasure Park in Port Harcourt as well as other large gatherings due to the slated protest and the associated potential of a security crackdown.

COUNTRY RISK LEVEL High
AFFECTED AREA Nationwide, Nigeria
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL High
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Credible

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What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.