#BringBackOurGirls Open Letter to the President and Chairman of the Police Service Commission

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Muhammadu Buhari GCFR
President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
Federal Republic of Nigeria
State House
Abuja
1. OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA : President Muhammadu Buhari
2. OPEN LETTER TO THE CHAIRMAN OF POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION: Mr Mike Okiro

UNCONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION OF CITIZENS’ FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND ASSEMBLY BY THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE: DEMAND FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST :
1. The Acting Inspector General of Police: Mr Ibrahim Kpotum Idris
2. The Commissioner of Police, FCT: Mr Muhammad Mustafa
3. The Deputy Commissioner of Police: Mr M. D. Abubakar
4. The Assistant Commissioner of Police: Mr Abiodun Alamutu
Our reputation as a well-organized and disciplined citizens’ movement that strictly respects the constitution and the laws of the land was built over the last nearly thirty months of our advocacy for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
Sadly, on Tuesday September 6, 2016, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command displayed an unacceptable level of intolerance and blatant disregard for our constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedoms of thought, conscience, association, peaceful assembly, and movement. By unleashing a detachment of over a 100 anti-riot policemen on our civil movement and going further to attempt several cordons against our fourth march of the series, the Police ignored a judgement of a Federal High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Furthermore, by falsely declaring our peaceful advocacy as a “security threat” whose activities “must not trample on other peoples’ rights through over-dramatization of emotions, self-serving propaganda and disrespect of public (office) holders”, the Inspector General of Police deliberately attempted to pitch us against fellow Nigerians without any evidence to back those claims.

In addition, we consider it injurious to our carefully built reputation as a global movement known for order, decency, civility, and discipline, whose model is often recommended by some of the world’s top-rated publications and researched by students of the world’s top universities at doctoral and post-doctoral levels.

We therefore demand

· that the IGP immediately and officially retracts ALL the statements levelling allegations and accusations against us (which are patently false, vindictive, and in bad faith). This is important for the public record to reflect this, and for posterity sake. A mere volte-face of a counter-announcement denying banning our movement does not suffice;

· that the IGP immediately tenders and widely publishes his unreserved apology to our #BringBackOurGirls movement for violation of our individual and collective rights and freedoms, causing inconvenience to us, orchestrating a hate campaign and disseminating false accusation against us with the intention of tarnishing the reputation of our movement. Further to the unreserved apology, that the IGP makes a public pledge and commitment to never again infringe the Nigerian constitution by using the Nigerian Police as a tool of oppression against us, our movement, and other citizens and civic organizations;

· that the IGP forthwith tenders unreserved apology to the parents of our Chibok girls and the Chibok community who were part of our procession; for using officers of the Nigeria Police to disorganize our public event on Tuesday 6 September, 2016 and in so doing, causing these already distraught citizens even more distress;

· that the IGP immediately tenders apology to the Nigerian and the global public for misleading them in the numerous pronouncements of falsehood and for causing unnecessary and unwarranted inconvenience to motorists on Shehu Shagari Way on Tuesday 6 September, and indeed for portraying the Nigeria Police Force in extremely bad light by their words and actions;

· that the President acting through the Police Commission calls the Inspector General of Police (Mr Ibrahim Kpotum Idris) to order immediately and takes appropriate disciplinary measures against him and the other two officers (CP Muhammad Mustafa, DCP M. D. Garba, and ACP Abiodun Alamutu of the FCT Command) to deter any recurrence of unconstitutional, unprofessional, lawless, and oppressive conduct in the future.

Thank you very much Mr President.

Respectfully submitted in anticipation of your usual kind understanding and cooperation.

For and on behalf of
#BringBackOurGirls

AISHA YESUFU
OBIAGELI (OBY) EZEKWESILI

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