NOA Mobilizes Civil Intelligence Amid Warnings of Planned Protests

By Jemimah Wellington, JKNMedia Reporter

IN RESPONSE to warnings from security agencies about potential nationwide protests, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has activated its civil intelligence network.

The agency says it has instructed its 812 offices across Nigeria to identify and monitor hotspots and individuals involved in the planned demonstrations.

This directive follows a report from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) indicating that certain individuals, particularly those under investigation, are organizing youths, including schoolchildren, to stage protests against the government.

Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, Director General, NOA, has urged parents and guardians to counsel their children against participating in these protests.

He emphasized that the instigators aim to disrupt national stability and impede ongoing investigations into their illicit activities.

Issa-Onilu also directed the agency’s 4,000 staff members to support security agencies in maintaining order and preventing any breakdown of law and order in the country and reassured the public that the government remains committed to providing channels for citizens to express feedback on policies and programmes.

“A group has been recruiting young Nigerians, including students, through social media to protest against the EFCC’s enforcement of cybercrime laws,” Issa-Onilu stated.

The NOA DG stressed that while the government respects the right to peaceful protest, there is evidence that corrupt elements facing investigation or prosecution are behind this plot, aiming to exploit the situation to undermine national peace and security.

The NOA urges citizens to report any suspicious activities to the nearest EFCC office or law enforcement agency, or to reach out through the NOA’s “Say Something” platform on the agency’s app.

Deputy Director of Press, Paul Odenyi, reiterated the call for vigilance and cooperation from the public.

In the meantime, heavy security presence are reported to have been sighted at the EFCC head office on Awolowo Road in Ikoyi, Lagos State, on Friday.

The Commission had previously raised alarms about groups planning protests against the commission.

Security forces, including men from the Department of State Services (DSS), have been deployed with patrol vans, anti-riot gun trucks, and Black Marias.

The protests, organized under the hashtag #ReformEFCC, have six key demands to be submitted to EFCC offices nationwide which include the respect for fundamental human rights, cessation of profiling young Nigerians, and ending the assault and manhandling of citizens.

Emphasizing that the #ReformEFCC protest is not politically motivated but is a peaceful call for the reformation of the EFCC, a Twitter user, @PidomNigeria warned that anyone attempting to politicize the protest would be handed over to the police.

Operatives from the Lagos State Anti-Crime Outfit, Rapid Response Squad (RRS), are strategically stationed on routes leading to the Lagos EFCC office to maintain order.

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