Kwara APC Rejects Police Ban on Political Rallies
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Kwara State chapter has dismissed the ban on rallies and political meetings by Kwara State Police Command as an affront to democracy and Nigerian Constitution.
The APC said, “the Nigerian Police Force
(NPF) as an institution established by Law, must allow itself to be guided by Law and History rather than arbitrariness.
In a statement issued at Ilorin, Tuesday, by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari, the APC said, “the ban is not only illegal and unwarranted, it is also null and void in the face of Nigerian constitution”.
“The Police Command lacks such powers to ban rallies, procession and political meetings in Kwara State, only the Governor of Kwara State who doubles as the Chief Security Officer of Kwara State has such constitutional powers.
“The fundamental rights to freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association of the good people of Kwara State as guaranteed by sections 38, 39 and 40 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can not be unilaterally violated by the NPF, an institution responsible for the enforcement of same fundamental human rights.
On the directive that party agents should steer clear of polling units during the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, the APC said, “CVR exercises are conducted by INEC not the Police Command. It was INEC that requested the participation of political parties and deployment of party agents to polling booths. In any electoral process, the duty of the police is to ensure compliance with INEC laws and guidelines, not to give counter unlawful orders”.
“The Kwara State Police Command should be reminded that when a Commissioner of Police attempted to impose ban on political rallies in Rivers State, the ban was defeated by Law and the people of Rivers State.
“Again, when a Commissioner of Police banned rallies and protests at Abuja in June, 2014. The Inspector-General of Police overruled the ban and reiterated that Nigerians have the rights to organise protests and rallies.
“Aside facts, that the statement conveying the purported ban on political rallies is conspicuously devoid of why political rallies were banned and where the Police Command derived such powers, there is fundamentally no basics for such ban in Kwara State.
“The APC holds that the rights of Kwarans must not be infringed upon by the police. The Police Command should halt any attempt to arrest the freedom of our people. Kwara State is not under siege, no form of siege not even Police siege is unacceptable to our party and the people of Kwara State.
“Since we have highlighted plus proved without doubt that the ban on political meetings and rallies is illegal and unconstitutional, the Kwara State Police Command should summon the courage to reverse itself on the unlawful ban forthwith.”, the statement read.
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