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HomeGist‘No Gree For Anybody’ - Lawyers Fault Police Caution

‘No Gree For Anybody’ – Lawyers Fault Police Caution

Several legal professionals criticised the caution issued by the Nigerian Police regarding adopting the slogan ‘No Gree For Anybody‘ as the 2024 motto, asserting that it could potentially provoke a crisis in the nation.

The phrase, interpreted as ‘refusing to accept any unwarranted behaviour’ or ‘resisting intimidation from anyone,’ has recently garnered widespread popularity among Nigerians, particularly on social media platforms.

In response to the ongoing trend, the Police Spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, briefed the press, stating thata intelligence reports indicated the potential of the catchphrase to lead the country into a crisis of significant magnitude.

The Force PRO noted that, although the slogan is seen as ‘normal talk’, those in the security community view it as a ‘dangerous’ slogan.

“The new slogan for 2024, for young people, is ‘No dey gree for anybody’.

We have been informed from our intelligence that this is coming from the retributionary sector that might likely cause problem across the country.

‘No dey gree for anybody’ is being seen as just normal talk. In the security community, we have seen it as a very dangerous slogan that can trigger crises,” he said.

Contrary to the stance of the Police, legal professionals expressed disagreement with their position.

Human rights activist Femi Falana, SAN, found the warning laughable, asserting that the Police lack the authority to prohibit the expression. Falana argued that the phrase poses no threat to law and order.

“I no gree for anybody is an expression of antiquity, and the Police cannot stop or criminalise it. When President Bola Tinubu came to Lagos recently, Nigerians expressed their feeling to him that there is hunger in the land.

That is a form of ‘I no go gree’. The expression does not in any way constitute a threat to law and order. Nobody can be charged to court for using that expression, and if the Police feel differently, they should refer us to the portion of the law that criminalises such ancient expression,” Falana said.

Former 2nd Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Monday Ubani, issued a caution, emphasising that while the Police are tasked with maintaining peace, it should not serve as a pretext for violating citizens’ rights to freedom of expression.

He said: “The security agencies are there to maintain law and order, so if the Police say that they have carried out an intel which suggests that the slogan is capable of causing crisis in the country, they have a right to prevent it. In doing that, there must, however, be a balance.

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If people are expressing themselves without ulterior motives or the expression degenerating into a security threat, it will be wrong to infringe on people’s right to express themselves.

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I think the slogan is just a motivation for people and generates the right spirit in them to do the right thing and stand against any form of intimidation or oppression and also improve their lives. As far as that is the case, it will be wrong for the Police to stop people from expressing themselves.

What is important is peace, and the Police have the right to ensure peace in the country. If there is no peace in the country, investors cannot come in, so we must all ensure that there is peace in the country.”

Executive Director of Cadrell Advocacy Centre, Evans Ufeli, asserted that the Police warning was unwarranted, contending that the security agency had evidently misconstrued the meaning behind the slogan.

He said: “The Police warning is unnecessary because the expression is not inciting. It is just a cultural expression and does not include violence. I believe they have not really done good research on the slogan.

If you ask the youths and the millennials, they will tell you that it is a positive expression they have adopted to achieve their set goals for the year.

While some say they ‘No go agree’ for hunger and poverty, others say I no agree for oppression and intimidation around me. The society is dynamic, and the Police should know that every season comes with a slang or expression. Since the expression gained traction, has there been any violence anywhere? The answer is no.”

Meanwhile, the army, yesterday, urged Nigerians to join forces with security agencies by assuming the acronym and saying, ‘We no go agree for all terrorists in 2024.’

Director of Defence Media Operation, Maj Gen Edward, addressed the operational briefing on military activities against insecurity, highlighting that by adopting and expressing the sentiment “We no go gree for terrorists,” Nigerians would demonstrate their solidarity with the military and security agencies in the ongoing battle against criminal elements.

“By joining in using the slang ‘We no gree for anybody, ‘which is currently trending among young Nigerians, the terrorists will know that time is up. Make Nigerians’ no gree for terrorists this year.’ If you see something, say something, and we assure Nigerians of doing something.”

General Buba also encouraged Nigerians to be vigilant about security matters and report any criminal activities occurring in their surroundings to security operatives.

Recall that Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu utilized the catchphrase to motivate the Super Eagles, urging them to ‘no gree for anybody’ as they prepare to compete against other nations in the upcoming Nations Cup held in Cote d’Ivoire.

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