Police Ban on Political Rallies In Order – Kwara PDP
The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for rejecting the police ban on unauthorised public procession and protest in Kwara State. The PDP says that by rejecting the order the APC leadership have now concretely confirmed the fears of Kwarans that the APC is unruly and deviant.
All the police command seeks to prevent is the continued degeneration of the security of the state and nothing more. It is not targeted at the APC alone but all groups and individuals irrespective of their political leaning. So, why is the APC crying more than other institutions that are affected by the order? Does the APC have other motives other than what it is making the public to believe?
As far as we are concerned, we believe that the police would not have handed down the banning order but for the violent conduct of some members of the APC in Kwara State. And as an institution whose primary responsibility is to protect lives and property in the state, the police would not stand by while the APC turns the state into a theatre of war.
For instance, over the last two weeks, under the guise of rallies and public processions, members of the APC in Kwara have wrecked untoward havoc on the lives and properties of Kwarans. This situation came to its head on Friday, 15th August, 2014 when some sponsored APC thugs invaded the Ode Belgore and Alege Compound polling units in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State and assaulted innocents PDP members who had queued to collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC), including an innocent NYSC youth corps member, whose only offence was his insistence on due process. But instead of owing up to the criminal conducts of its members, the APC has characteristically turned the table against the victims of their crime.
The following day, Saturday, 17th August, 2014, some APC members in Ode Opobiyi polling unit, Ilorin West Local Government Area, in obvious attempt to provoke majority PDP members, also reportedly swept the footprint of a prominent chieftain of the PDP in the area. But for the maturity of the members of the PDP who are in the majority in the area, the situation might have degenerated into a violent confrontation.
Would the police have banned rallies and political gatherings around the registration points if the APC had not moved to subvert the rule of the game? Would the police have placed a temporary embargo on public procession if the APC had acted within the confines of the law? These are the questions that all right thinking members of the public are now asking.
It is our contention that the right of the APC to protest or hold rallies in whatever guise, is not elastic, it is subject to their leaders’ responsibility to ensure decorum and sanity – a commitment which the APC leadership has unfortunately not been able to extract from its members across the state. This is the spirit and the letters of S. 48 of the 1999 constitution which creates exceptions where right could be deviated upon when the collective security of the people is at stake.
It therefore behoves on the leadership of the APC to call their violent members to order, especially as INEC commences the second round of the registration exercise.
As a peace loving party, we are in full support of the bid by the Kwara police command to stem the tide of violence that now threatens the corporate existence of Kwara State, no thanks to the violent activity of the APC in the state.
We are confident that the police would relax its order as soon as the political class in Kwara, particularly the APC, show a firmer commitment to uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and the security of lives and property of the citizens of the state.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
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