Ban on Political Rallies: APC, PDP Tackles Cp Joseph Mbu
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State seem to have ganged up against the state commissioner of police, Mr Mbu Joseph Mbu, following the ban on political rallies, especially those organised by the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) and the Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation (RIVLEAF).
The GDI is loyal to the supervising minister of education, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, and the Felix Obuah-led PDP while the SRM and RIVLEAF are loyal to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the APC.
The APC, in a statement signed by the senior special assistant on media to the interim chairman, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said the ban on political rallies in the state is an attempt by the commissioner of police to disrupt its membership drive and registration scheduled to begin today across the state, adding that it has already directed its legal team to challenge the police directive in court.
“This latest act of impunity by the Rivers State Police Command under the watch of CP Mbu Joseph Mbu designed to sabotage our membership drive will, however, fail as it lacks the power to stop this nationwide exercise from being carried out in Rivers State. For the avoidance of doubt, Rivers State is still an integral part of Nigeria and subject to Nigerian laws, including the one that guarantees the people’s right to freedom of association”, APC said.
In its own reaction, the PDP said the ban on political activities by Mbu is an indication that he has succumbed to the pressure and blackmail of the Rivers State government and the APC, insisting that the move contradicts the laudable stance of the police in the state as an uncompromising institution.
In a statement signed by the special adviser on media to the PDP chairman, Jerry Needam, the party said “The PDP is not satisfied with the latest action by the Rivers State Police Command in banning political rallies and protests in the state. It seems to the PDP that the police authorities in the state have succumbed to the pressure and blackmail by the Rivers State government, the Save Rivers Movement and the All Progressives Congress”.
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