Edo Govt Bans All Political Rallies, Demonstrations

PHOTO: Protesting youths set up bonfire in Benin city, Edo State capital on Thursday, December 12, 2019.

 

Edo State government on Friday announced that a ban has been placed on all political rallies and demonstration in the state.

This announcement is coming barely 24 hours after a protest by some youths who set up bonfires at some strategic locations in the capital city, Benin, leading to increased political tensions.

The Government of Edo State in a statement signed by Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, said the decision to place the ban was important following alleged plans by some mischief-makers to organise an unauthorised political rally in Benin City.

READ ALSO: Edo APC Rally: Oshiomhole Arrives Benin Amidst Tight Security, Calls For Calm

According to him, the rally is capable of leading to a breakdown of public peace and also a danger to the persons and property of Edo citizens.

“The event of yesterday, 12th December, 2019, were a scary prelude to the absolute mayhem which these irresponsible activities would generate if left unchecked.

“In defiance of the clear and publicised instruction of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), calling off the proposed rally owing to the security implications, these desperate persons are presently shopping around for alternative venues to carry out their incendiary activities.

“The primary purpose of Government is the protection of life and property. Consequently, the government of Edo State has placed a total and complete ban on all political rallies, demonstrations and/or procession in any part of Edo State,” the statement read in part.

The state government therefore directed all security agencies to deal firmly with all persons who act in breach of this directive.

The also urged parents and guardians to advise their children and wards not to allow themselves to be used as “cannon-fodder in aid of misguided political ambition and ego of people, whose own children reside and school abroad.”

The statement concluded that all property owners used for activities in breach of this order shall have their right of occupancy immediately revoked and forfeited to the state government.

 

Political Tension

Decision of the Edo State government to ban all political rallies in the state comes barely 24 hours after a protest by some groups against a proposed political rally in the state.

There was palpable tension in the city of Benin the capital of Edo state as some youths put up bonfires at some locations in the city

The bonfires are most visible along the Benin airport roads which lead in and out of the city.

The youths chanted political songs and the tension from all indications are about the planned welcome rally for Osagie Ize-Iyamu who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ize-Iyamu is scheduled to be received by the National Chairman of the APC and Former Governor Adams Oshiomhole who has been in a political rift with his successor Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Security Chiefs To Shutdown Illegal Motor Parks In Kano

Nigerian-Army-KanoSecurity Chiefs in Kano State in north-west Nigeria have disclosed their plans to shutdown all illegal Motor parks across the state.

In a meeting with officials of various parks in the state, the Security Chiefs – the State Police Command, Department of State Security Service, Brigade Command, the Airforce Command and other Road Traffic Agencies – tried to address security issues at various parks across Kano State.

Speaking on various issues, including Motor Park security control, which comprises thorough search of passengers and their luggage, first aid measures, as well as police-park relations, which would further strengthen the security of various parks, the Chiefs stressed the need for the parks to adhere to security tips, as they were meant to ensure that parks were protected.

Two suicide bombers had recently attacked the popular Kano Line Motor park, killing about 10 people.

In a related development, the command paraded two persons suspected to have killed one person during a political rally clash in the state, with the Security Chiefs warning that would no longer be business as usual.

They stressed that all illegal park would be shutdown without any second thought.

The park Officials urged the joint Security Chiefs to continue to assist them in ensuring the safety of their passengers.

In the mean time, the Kano State Police Command said it would continue to consult and address various stakeholders on security matters in order to ensure that Kano State and Nigeria in general are peaceful.

Ekiti Election: Fayemi Says People’s Welfare Remains Priority

fayemi_celebrationThe governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has revealed that the welfare of Ekiti people remains priority to his administration.

Speaking during his re-election campaign rally in Oye Local Government of Ekiti State, the Governor said that he had been tested ok, with his performance in the last three years being also verifiable, including the peace which has been restored in the state.

He also challenged candidates from other political parties to come up with what they had done for the people in the past.

The Director-General of Fayemi Campaign Organization, Bimbo Daramola, also said that Dr. Fayemi was the people’s choice candidate, having done creditably well for the people of the state and adjudged to be deserving of another term in office.

The campaign started in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, with the Governor and all the cabinet members, including the party leaders and supporters in the campaign train, as they moved from one community to the other.

He also visited traditional rulers within the local government as he called for their supports and the votes of their communities so as to “continue with the good work.”

The traditional rulers confirmed the transformation in the state, but not without presenting the Governor with requests as regards more work that needed to be done. Dr Fayemi, however, promised to work on their requests as soon as he is re-elected.

Na’Abba Challenges Politicians Over Jonathan’s ‘Single Term Agreement’

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mister Ghali Na’Abba has challenged those claiming that President Goodluck Jonathan signed an agreement to restrict himself to a single term to come out with proofs to back up their claims.

Speaking on Channels Television programme, ‘’View From The Top’’, Mr Na’Abba said that although it is important for people to honour agreements they entered into, he was not privy to any document suggesting that there is any agreement.

He said: “Anybody has the right to contest to be the President of Nigeria, wherever he comes from, but when there is an agreement, that agreement must be upheld, no matter the pain. If we don’t learn to honour our agreements, then we are not men of honour.

“In this case, none of us have been briefed after the primary elections of 2011 by anybody about the process these governors followed in giving their votes or asking their delegates to elect Goodluck Jonathan to be the party’s presidential flag bearer.”

Na’Abba was among many top politicians that left the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in a highly publicized defection to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in 2005. He said that unlike the current wave of defections, his was not an easy decision, leaving the PDP back then.

He explained that the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in his bid to elongate his tenure in office, “embarked on what they called re-registration exercise in the party”, with the aim of “having total control of the party.”

He further alleged that those of them who were seen not to be in support of the president’s plan “were marked out for total elimination from the party.” So, means had to be devised for them to either leave the party or be dismissed. He said that they were denied the opportunity to be re-registered as members of the party.

Hence, they opted out of the party and fought the scheme. He noted that they did not leave the party just because they wanted to.

He, however, regretted that his expectation that whatever party he joined after PDP would be a truly democratic party with internal democracy was not what he found, so he decided to return to his party, the PDP, in 2007, just after the presidential election.

Speaking from experience as a one-time defector, Na’Abba noted that the possibility of recent PDP defectors returning to the party would depend on their objectives, as there were people in politics for the purpose of acquiring power, while there are also developmental politicians.

“Once power seeking politicians find what they need, they may not come back, because for them all the platforms are the same. There are no differences in ideology; which is why many politicians contesting for positions cannot provide their party manifestos,” he explained.

Mr Na’Abba also commended the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, saying despite the circumstances that he has found himself, he is doing his best.

“The current House of Representatives cannot be compared to that of 1999 to 2003.  Because that time, members came almost on their own, so they didn’t need anybody to direct them, and this was why the House was quite independent.

“After 2003, when the potential for the House to do a lot of things was realised by the executive arm, it was silently decided that that degree of independence should never be allowed within the legislature. So the next occupants of the House and the Senate were mostly handpicked by the party or the President.”

He also shared his views on the National Conference and other matters of national importance.

Group Accuses Police Of Causing Political Imbalance In Rivers State

The Coordinator of the Save Rivers Movement, Igo Aguwa, has accused the Rivers State Police Command of causing political imbalance in the state and allowing itself to be used as an instrument of impunity against the Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s administration.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mr Aguwa traced the history of such situations to 1965, “when the Akintola led Action Group refused that the NCNC campaign in western Nigeria. In 1966 thereafter, there was a coup. You remember also in 1982, we had Adewusi as the Inspector General of Police, where the mobile police was used which led to the acronym, Kill And Go.”

He alleged that the Police Command led by Joseph Mbu, disrupted the inauguration of the NGO and also refused to provide security when hoodlums raided the rally in Khana local government because they were loyal to the opponents of the State Governor, who had staged rallies to promote the leader’s weaknesses in office.

“We believe that everybody should have a level playing field where people can sell their programme, their ideas and let the electorate decide.”

“We are only sensitising on the programmes, the positives and even receiving criticisms to act better,” he said.

CP Mbu had accused the group of campaigning without permission from the electoral umpire, INEC, but according to the former House of Reps member, campaigning as defined in the Electoral Act “talks about people campaigning for elective positions.

“That does not mean that the parties will be docile until anytime there’s an election.”

He continued by saying: “It’s getting to the election period, let’s face it. That is why the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI) has been going around in Rivers State, selling the negative ideas of the government and highlighting the weak points” adding that “nobody is perfect.”

“In that same way, Save Rivers Movement is going around highlighting the positive parts of the government so that you don’t have only the negative perceptions out there in the market.”

Aguwa expressed fears that “what is happening in Rivers state is capable of undermining democracy in Nigeria.”

He admitted that the SRM was on a campaign to neutralize the perceptions being spread by Governors Amaechi’s opposition. “The SRM believes that the government has done well and our ideal is on promoting good governance,” he said.

Asked why the group is carrying out political activities using the NGO as cover, Mr Aguwa said “the truth of the matter is, an NGO could be politically inclined, could be health inclined. It could have any inclination but the important thing is we are not sponsored by government.”

He added that “it is within our rights within the constitution to have that NGO.”

He advocated that the group be given a level playing field as the State Police Command led by Joseph Mbu, had given protection to the opposition group, GDI, the same day the SRM rally was disrupted.

“The field is not level. What is titling the field right now is the impunity of the police,” he said.

He countered arguments that political gatherings are banned until INEC gives permission, adding that only campaigns for political offices are not allowed.

He stated that the bad blood between the Police Command and the group was a recent development as he had met with the Police Commissioner, as a friend, before the Obiakpor rally which was disrupted. “There was no indication that that would happen,” he added.

 

 

 

 

#SaveRiversRally: Police Area Command Was 400 Meters Away

The Chairman of Eleme local government area in Rivers State, Oji Ngofa, on Monday alleged that a Police Area Command was 400 meters away from the venue of the Save Rivers Movement (SRM)rally which was marred by violence on Sunday, wondering why officers of the Force did not come to the rescue.

“The venue of the rally was not up to 400 meters from the Bori Area Command but police didn’t do anything and the hoodlums (from wherever they came from) started shooting, chasing people away, damaging property and all that,” he said.

Ngofa whose LG is near to Khana Local Government, where the attack occurred, disclosed that problem started at about 4 AM on Sunday morning when the hoodlums started shooting and then returned when organisers of the rally started setting up.

“There was no way they would say that they didn’t hear the gunshots,” Ngofa said, adding that efforts of the SRM to secure police assistance yielded nothing.

However, the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu told Channels Television via a telephone interview that the group did not invite the Police and also did not request security presence for the rally.

In response, Mr Ngofa said “that is not true” because the same letter written to the Police, seeking security, last week covered two events including Sunday’s rally.

On allegations that the group was trying to stage campaign rallies, Ngofa said the mission of the Movement was to “promote good governance.”

Although the identity of the attackers remains unknown, Ngofa said residents of Khana local government would be able to point out the perpetrators.

Contrary to claims by the State Police Commissioner, Mbu, Mr Ngofa disclosed that the group had made attempts at informing the police of the event beforehand. He added that the lawyer of the group, Ken Asuette went to the Police command on Friday to remind the Force of the rally which was to hold on Sunday.

He further stated that the refusal of the Police to do its job indicates that they are lying and playing games.

“It is a gang up to bring a reign of terror on Rivers people.”

Members Of Save Rivers Movt. Are Victims Of Political Megalomania – Mbu

The Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Joseph Mbu, has accused the members of the Save Rivers Movement, a non-governmental organisation, of being victims of ‘political megalomania’ for being bold enough to stage yet another rally on Sunday despite the mayhem which occurred at their programme, last week.

“They (SRM) are trying to tell the world that they are really victims of political megalomania. They are power drunk,” he said adding that the decision of the SRM to go ahead with its rally despite the mayhem which occurred last week is a bold attempt at telling people that “they are still in control.”

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, via a telephone interview, Mr Mbu responded to claims that the Police did not rush to the scene of the rally when armed hoodlums attacked citizens and destroyed property, including Channels Television’s Open Broadcast Van and bus.

Mr Mbu who had been in the eye of public after ordering his men to disrupt the rally last week based on the argument that he did not grant permission for the event to hold, insisted that the Police was not invited to ensure law and order at Sunday’s event.

On the botched rally of last week, the CP said “I sent men as early as 5 0’clock to dominate and take over that premises.” However, “that of yesterday, nobody applied to the Police. It was about 4 hours later that the area commander called me and said that the Chairman of the local government went to his office to report that hoodlums invaded where they were going to hold the rally and everything was scattered.… I told him that this Save Rivers Movement is government instrument. They feel they are above the law and if you know that you are above the law and a thing of that nature happens, you should go and contact the thugs to go and fight for you. You don’t need to come to the police station because you think you are above the law.”

He continued by saying “If they had applied to us and we have considered the security location and that the place is safe, I would have approved and I would have given them enough policemen.”

Describing the group as disorganized and lacking respect for law and order, he further alleged that “the policemen who were shooting there were the orderly of the Chairman of the Local Government and four other policemen brought in by the Commissioner for Works.”

The Commissioner of Police assured that investigations are on-going and promised that “whoever authorised such policemen is going to be disciplined, whether he is a civil commissioner or he’s a police officer.”

He said the Police was not aware of the mayhem but only deployed “a unit of conventional policemen as well as a unit of mobile policemen” after a report was made at the station.

He also hinted that the Police will not rule out possibilities that the group was involved in the fracas. “Sometimes, the person who commits the offence is the one who cries foul,” he said.

“The information we have is that the policemen attached to the DPO and to the Chairman and the ones attached to the Commissioner for Works were responsible for the shooting but we are investigating it.”

“We are the police and we are in charge of security and order. If anybody is in distress and calls us, whether you have made a mistake or not, we must come there to salvage and then to save your life. We were not invited. We were invited only after the destruction had been done and we don’t know who did that destruction.”