The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has described the recent ban of poltical rallies by the State Police Command as an act of illegality and abuse of the inalienable rights of the people to freely associate as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria.
The Party, which stated this in a statement, yesterday in Port Harcourt, said it regarded the ban on rallies as a direct declaration of War on the long suffering people of Rivers State.
The statement, signed by Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the Senior Special Assistant to the Interim State Chairman, noted that the directive was aimed at disrupting the APC membership drive and registration scheduled to commence today in Rivers State.
According to him, “Our members and supporters are scheduled to commence registration on Wednesday (today)”, adding that the directive was clearly targeted at frustrating the exercise after APC had already trained officers and moblisied materials to all the wards and units in the state.
“The latest impunity by Mbu Joseph Mbu was designed to sabotage our membership drive. The plan will fail as the Police lack powers to stop the nationwide registration of the APC exercise from holding in Rivers State”.
Chief Eze said the party in the state had directed its lawyers to challenge the order in court as it had instructed its resigration officers to go ahead with the registration exercise.
He warned that if the Police intention was to use the ban to disrupt its registration exercise, then it was an exercise in futility.
Also reacting to the ban, the President of the Save Rivers Movement, Mr. Charles Ahorlu said the Police had no right to ban political rallies in the state.
Ahorlu, who spoke in a telephone interview, explained that the state Police Command was arrogating to itself the power not vested in it by the Nigerian constitution.
According to him, “we will not take the ban on rallies lightly. Where were the Police when the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI) was moving around all nooks and crannies of the state, holding political rallies in the local government areas of the state”.
Meanwhile, the GDI said it was ready to comply with the ban on Political rallies by the Police.
The National Spokesman of the group, Mr. Godwill Orurakwe said President Goodluck Jonathan had maintained that he did not want any loss of life for any political reasons.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, on Monday placed a ban on rallies in the state.
Mbu, who said the decision was based on the increasing political tension in the state, specifically said the ban affected political rallies.
Before the outright ban, the CP had directed that those holding rallies in the state should apply for permission from the Police.
He also prohibited activities involving the Grassroots Development Initiative, Save Rivers Movement and the Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation.
“Accordingly, all public activities involving rallies of Grassroots Development Initiative, Save Rivers Movement, Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation and whatever other names, are hereby banned”.
Mbu warned that the Police would not provide security for any group that henceforth organize rallies.
The CP, however, said that party membership registration would only be allowed based on the provisions of the Electoral Act and regulations of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State described the ban on political rallies as a gang-up between the Police and the State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi.
The state Chairman, Brother Felix Obuah said the ban on political rallies was targeted at stopping the PDP from taking its campaign to the various local government areas of the state.
“I just believe it (ban on rallies by the Police) is against the PDP. The PDP has not started its rallies and anytime from now, we are planning to embark on our rallies from one local government area to the other.
LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’
The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.
Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.
Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.
The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.
Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.
“What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.
“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”
The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.
Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.
Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.
“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.
“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”
Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.
An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.
“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.
“The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.
“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.
“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.
Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”
Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today
All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.
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