The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned as dastardly, unwarranted and unprovoked, today’s unleashing of violence on our leaders, including the Senate President and state governors, by the Police.
The PDP, however, vowed that no amount of attacks, aggression or acts of intimidation will deter it from confronting and dismantling the rigging machinery of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and coast to victory in 2019.
“The whole world was shocked when the police physically assaulted, fired teargas cannisters and violently dispersed our party leaders who were on peaceful protest to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, over the use of police by the APC to rig elections, particularly the September 22, 2018 Osun State Governorship election.
“Acting on ‘orders from above’, the police assaulted our elected leaders, including our national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Ekiti Governor, Chief Ayo Fayose, our presidential aspirants, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Barrister Kabiru Tanimu, Mallam Sule Lamido, among others.
“This unwarranted attack has left no one in doubt that our Police has finally been turned into a militant wing of the APC, with direct orders to use force to repress opposition and turn our nation into a one party state.
“It has also shown that the Police, under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, has officially declared war on the opposition and there is no way our safety is guaranteed under the current police leadership.
“If the Police, which ought to protect the people, the law and the democratic process, could show such violent aggression on notable leaders, then it can no longer be trusted with the welfare and safety of regular citizens.
“One can only imagine the level of violence that is being daily unleashed on our citizens by the APC- control Federal Police.
“It is completely reprehensible that the same APC leaders, Including President Buhari, who were allowed to freely hold protests under the PDP administration, could now turn around to approve police brutality and aggression against the opposition.
“We know that the essence of such attacks is to instil fear and siege mentality on the people so as to cow them to submission ahead of the 2019 general election.
“The PDP therefore calls on all Nigerians and the international community to rise up in direct condemnation of APC’s use of state apparatus of Power against law abiding citizens and groups.
“On our own part, the PDP lists this particular violent attack as a wake-up call to all Nigerians to rise in defense of our democracy.
“This country belongs to all of us and the PDP will never allow anybody, no matter how highly placed, to in any way whatsoever, intimidate or subjugate us ahead of the 2019 elections.
“We are now determined to face all force of intimidation until we return our nation to the path of rule of law, good governance and national cohesion,” the party said.
Meanwhile, the police said, yesterday, that following its invitation last week Friday, Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce are to report to the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Garki, Abuja by 10am today, for investigation and not the IGP Monitoring Unit as earlier stated in the press release from the Force Headquarters on 5th October, 2018.
The police said preliminary investigation carried out so far by its operatives into the above mentioned incident reveals that Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, were captured on camera for their active involvement in the disturbance of public peace and public safety, unlawful blockade of Shehu Shagari way for several hours preventing motorists, road users and other members of the public from having access and passage on the highway thereby disturbing public peace and public safety.
The police said this caused innocent people to scamper for safety and violent attack on policemen posted to ensure security of the Force Headquarters, pushing and hitting the policemen to forcefully enter the Force Headquarters to cause damage to police equipment and government properties; have case to answer.
A statement by Force PRO, Acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, said, “Consequently, Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce are to report to the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Garki, Abuja by 10am on Monday, 8th October, 2018 for investigation and not the IGP Monitoring Unit as earlier stated in the Press Release from the Force Headquarters on 5th October, 2018.
“However, further investigation is ongoing to determine the level of involvement and culpability of other individuals and personalities who were seen at the scene of the crime on the date of the incident.
“Police invitation letters to Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce for them to report to the Commissioner of Police, FCT remains valid”, he said.
GoG: Nigerian, Ghanaian Navies Meet On Joint Operations
Against the backdrop of renewed piracy and hostage-taking incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart, Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, have commenced a security engagement aimed at joint security initiatives to tackle the situation.
Speaking during the meeting held at Naval headquarters, Abuja, Vice Admiral Gambo said, “The Gulf of Guinea is currently bedevilled by the activities of criminal elements who take advantage of limited capability of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
“The threat posed by the activities of these criminal elements constitute a major challenge not only to the littoral states but equally undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the trans-boundary and trans-national nature of maritime crime makes the security of the maritime domain a task beyond the capacity of any country acting alone.
“It is against this backdrop that this bilateral engagement was convened at the instance of the Heads of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Republic of Ghana towards addressing the maritime security challenges within the region”.
Vice Admiral Gambo expressed belief that “the engagement would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing that is hinged on cooperative maritime security framework as envisioned in the 2013 Yaoundé Protocol to arrive at strategies that would help address the maritime insecurity for enhanced economic prosperity in the region”.
Declaring the technical session open, the CNS said, “In deliberations, please consider amongst others: maritime area of interest covering Zone E and integration of the capabilities of the countries in Zone E, emplacing a robust intelligence sharing mechanism and collaboration with international partners”.
On relations between both countries, Gambo said, “This good relation is equally manifest in the several interactions between the Nigerian Navy and Ghana Navy. I must not fail to mention the remarkable contributions of the Ghana Navy-CNS to manpower development during his tour of duty at the prestigious AFCSC, Jaji as a member of the Directing Staff. I have no doubt that this engagement would further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana navies.
In his address, Chief of Naval Staff of Ghana, Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, noted that he and his delegation were in Nigeria at the behest of President Nana Akufo Ado to engage the Nigerian Navy and come out with collective strategies to tackle insecurity which is in the ascendancy in recent times in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We hope our navies will buy into this engagement to improve security in the Gulf of Guinea. We know our big brother Nigeria has bigger capacity to chart the way forward”.
He disclosed that, “Since year 2020, the situation has bot been good in the Gulf of Guinea”, noting that “Last May, two Ghanian vessels were attacked and 10 persons were abducted with investigations still ongoing”.
Consequently, the Ghanian Navy Chief said, “We are proposing an ECOWAS naval task force and joint maritime security architecture to checkmate these threats, adding that this was done in the past successfully during ECOMOG operations without problems with inter-operability and doctrinal issues.
Furthermore, he proposed the setting up of a ‘transit corridors’ where ships from fellow West African countries can go to anchor for assistance and joint naval assets will conduct regular patrols especially for protection of commercial fishing vessels.
Wike Orders Destruction Of Criminal Hideouts In Rivers
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has ordered the destruction of all criminal hideouts in Ahoada, Elele, Eleme and Onne to prevent attempt to undermine security of the state.
The governor said criminals were already coming to terms with the reality that Rivers State was too hot for them to invade at will and detonate their foolish attacks on targeted security posts and personnel.
Wike, who made this assertion in a state broadcast, last Friday, disclosed that the state government has identified the hideouts, safe houses and secret places that provide both cover and comfort for the hoodlums to plan, execute and return to after operations.
“This was the reason we ordered the destruction of all the shanties and makeshift structures located along Elele to Ahoada expanse of the East–West Road to deny the criminals the opportunity to continue to undermine our security from these hideouts.
“We have equally decided to destroy all the shanties, illegal shops and mechanic sheds along the Eleme to Onne stretch of the East-West Road having discovered these places also as hideouts and operational bases for criminals and criminal activities in the state.
“Consequently, I hereby direct owners of such shanties and illegal structures along the Eleme – Onne axis of the East-West Road to vacate the area within two weeks from June 11, 2021, as the state government will go ahead to destroy these structures without any further notice.”
Wike said the government was not unmindful of the economic effect these measures would have or may have had on residents carrying out businesses in the affected areas.
He, however, stressed that government was merely discharging its constitutional responsibility to advance the collective security of all with no ethnic targets in mind or attachment to political sentiments.
He explained that the existing curfew in Rivers State will not last one day beyond necessary, and pleaded with all residents to endure the temporary inconveniences in the interest of the state and collective wellbeing of all.
“We will continue to take the war on criminality and insecurity to the den of the criminals and we will neither yield nor lower the tempo of our assault until they are comprehensively neutralized. As a matter of fact, they want us to prematurely terminate the state wide night time curfew in order for them to have the leeway to operate again and roll back the gains of the last few weeks.”
Wike said he has received reports about the excesses of the State Task Force on Illegal Trading and Parks, especially the alleged shooting of motorists, extortions and abuse of the human rights of citizens.
He assured that government would not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on any member of the task force who crosses the boundaries of the law and rational behaviour.
The governor, who appealed to motorists and residents to be responsible road users by complying with the clear regulations against illegal trading, indiscriminate parking and irresponsible driving, noted that the situation where some motorists would have the effrontery to compete for traffic space with or even attempt to block his official vehicular convoy leaves much to be desired.
He has meanwhile, directed the management of the Rivers State Waste Management Authority to clear the state of filthiness within one week or be disbanded without any further notice.
Army Begins Shooting Exercises In Rivers
The Nigerian Army, 6 Division, has announced that it would commence its annual range classification exercise from yesterday to Sunday, June 27.
The division’s spokesman, Lt.-Col. Charles Ekeocha, said in a statement in Port Harcourt, that the exercise aimed at ascertaining the professional competence of troops on the use of firearms.
He said troops from the division and its affiliated formations and units would conduct the exercise at the Army Shooting Range in Igwuruta and Elele Barracks, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
“The shooting exercise is a routine activity in the Nigerian Army which involves the firing of various calibre live ammunitions.
“Members of the public, especially residents of Igwuruta and Elele, as well as its environs, are advised to keep away from the general shooting area,” he stated.
The Army spokesman also advised the public not to panic over the movement of troops, military hardware and sound of gunshots.
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