Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Police has warned supporters of the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, against their planned protest in different parts of the state today over last week’s sack of the local governments’ chairmen.
In a statement signed by Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Austin Agbonlahor, the police said that supporters of the two political parties were planning to stage protests and counter protests over who occupies the council secretariats in 22 local government areas of the state.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that some security men had sealed off some council secretariats after the governor setup caretaker committees following the Federal High Court’s nullification of the May 23 council elections.
The DCP said: “Information at the disposal of the Rivers State Police Command indicates plans by unknown individuals to hold a protest March on Monday 13th July, 2015 in Port Harcourt metropolis and other locations in the state against the recent Federal High Court judgment nullifying the election of the chairmen of 22 LGAs and the swearing-in of caretaker committees in their stead.
“Similarly, the command has credible intelligence that the protesters will be countered by another group. This could lead to confrontation with unpleasant consequences.
“The protest marches are meant to register perceived grievances over the court’s pronouncement and subsequent action of the state government. We acknowledge that anyone can hold a legitimate and peaceful protest; it is also fair to admit that the protest planners would not be able to control the process as pro and anti forces, including hoodlums, could hijack it and turn the state into a theatre of violence.
“On that basis, we are advising all aggrieved persons to sheathe their swords and toe the path of honour by resorting to legal means to seek redress and justice.
“Rivers State has experienced violence and disruptions to socioeconomic life caused apparently by differences in political views. These have created tension and palpable fear in the minds of the people.
“By this, the police command wishes to reiterate its earlier stance that parents should warn their children and wards to avoid being used to foment trouble or engage in acts capable of disrupting public peace.
“The command is therefore ready to deal decisively with anyone or group that decides to cause any uprising, violent protests, or undertake acts capable of violating or disrupting public peace,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Police have arrested 10 suspects for the shooting at Agbonchia in Eleme local government area of the state. Police spokesman, Ahmad Muhammad, said the suspects were arrested at a hideout in the area.
“In continuation of the police efforts to arrest the perpetrators of the mayhem at Agbonchia, Eleme, we have arrest 10 suspects at a suspected cultists’ enclave at Eleme. Items recovered from the scene include one Lexus Jeep, two motorcycles, and 20 expanded shells of 7.72mm ammunition. Investigations continue, “he stated.

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