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Police Ban Political Rallies In Rivers State

…As RVSG Wants Police To Clarify “What Constitutes Political Rallies And Meetings Of Associations”

By Muyiwa Bamidele

The Rivers State Police Command has placed a total ban on all forms of political gatherings and rallies by all political groups, including the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI).

Rivers CP Joseph Mbu

Rivers CP Joseph Mbu

The Commissioner of Police, MrJoseph Mbu, in a statement in Port Harcourt said the ban was due to the increasing political tension in the state.

The statement partly reads:

“The Rivers State Police Command wishes to inform the public that as a result of increasing political tension in the state, the commissioner of police, has banned all political rallies in the state.

“Accordingly, all public activities involving rallies of Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), Save Rivers Movement (SRM), Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation (RIVLEAF) and whatever other names, are hereby banned.

“Rivers State Police Command will not, I repeat, will not provide security for any group in whatever guise. Party membership drive is allowed strictly as stipulated in Electoral Act 2010 as amended and INEC regulations.”

Meanwhile, Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, says the state welcomes the ban but that there is the need for the police to clarify between what constitute political rallies and meetings of associations or persons.

Semenitari said: “We must remember that the police cannot hide under the guise of the ban of political rallies to stop individuals and groups from having regular meetings.

“I do not think that the constitution allows the Police under any guise to deny any Nigerian the rights to freedom of association and expression.”



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