Rivers LG Lockdown: CLO, 40 CSOs plan mass anti-police protest

n the news today has it that Rivers LG Lockdown: CLO, 40 CSOs plan mass anti-police protest – African2nice latest news about how the Rivers LG Lockdown: CLO, 40 CSOs plan mass anti-police protest.

The Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, and over 40 affiliate organizations have threatened to embark on a statewide protest if the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Kayode Egbetokun refuses to withdraw his men from the 23 local government councils in Rivers State.

Recall that the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, by the order of the IGP had deployed officers to man all the LG councils in the wake of the crisis that erupted on Tuesday following the expiration of the tenure of the out-gone chairmen.

Consequently, the 23 newly sworn-in caretaker chairmen of the councils are said to be operating from homes, hotels and other convenient places to carry out their administrative functions in the state.

Police state

Speaking on the continuous blockade of the secretariats, the South-South zonal chairman of CLO, Comrade Enefaa Georgewill, called on the police to stop turning Rivers into a police state, adding that the continuous blockade of the councils’ gates was “insulting and demeaning to the people of the state.”

The CLO chairman disclosed that the human rights group has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Police to vacate the secretariats or risk a statewide mass anti-police protest in Rivers State.

“We give the Nigerian Police a 7-day ultimatum which expires next Friday, June 28, 2024, to withdraw its men from the 23 secretariats across the local government areas of the state. We are at the moment consulting with all our affiliates and we are giving the police Command a time of grace to do the needful.

“We have a Governor, who has decided the crisis arising from the local government tenure imbroglio by swearing in a new caretaker committee to carry out the administrative work at the councils pending the conduct of LG elections.

“A competent court of jurisdiction had ruled that the Martins Amaewhule Assembly had no right to make laws for the extension of the tenure of the past council chairmen. Police ought to obey the subsisting judgment and remain neutral in the matter pending the final ruling by the Appeal Court,” he said.

Allow our members access to councils —NULGE

Similarly, the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Rivers State chapter called on the police to vacate the premises of the council secretariats and allow local government workers access to the offices to carry out their legitimate duties.

Rivers state Chairman of NULGE, Comrade Clifford Paul, in a statement, yesterday, described as a pressing concern the continuous siege at the various secretariats by the police.

“We call on the Rivers State Police Police Command to immediately withdraw all police personnel from the council secretariats in the state.

“The presence of these personnel has denied our local government workers access to the offices preventing them from carrying out their legitimate duties. The NULGE therefore gives the Nigerian Police Force a deadline of Monday, June 24, 2024, to vacate all local government secretariats in Rivers State and to ensure that our workers are granted unhindered access to their workplace.

“It is imperative that the normal function of local government councils is restored to continue serving the third tier effectively. However, we want to reiterate that the local government workers are not partisan and should not be brought into politics. We are core civil servants”, Clifford said.

Police siege unlawful — Ex-APC spokesman

In like manner, Mr. Sogboye Eli, a lawyer and former Spokesman of the APC campaign council, Rivers State in 2023, said the siege on council secretariats is “unlawful, unconstitutional, provocative and further derogates the situation in Rivers State.”

Eli said that there was no official order from any court of law authorizing the Police IG to besiege the local government councils

Nwuche cautions youths against violence

Meanwhile, amid the political crisis, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Prince Chibudom Nwuche, has cautioned Rivers youths against violence and criminal activities.

Nwuche, who spoke while hosting party stakeholders and supporters at his Ochigba Country home in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, drummed support for President Bola Tinubu and FCT Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

Wike, the immediate past governor of Rivers State is locked in a political crisis with his successor, Governor Siminalayi Fubara. The crisis has spread to the 23 local councils of the state.
The stakeholders visited Nwuche to reassure him of their loyalty as their leader and support for Wike and President Tinubu.

Nwuche thanked the people for the visit and urged them to remain steadfast and believe in the renewed Hope Agenda of the president because the president means well for the country and soon the nation would witness tremendous improvements in both infrastructure and overall welfare of the people.

Nwuche, who described Wike as a dependable and trustworthy personality, stated that Wike has replicated the infrastructural development he carried out in Rivers State in Abuja such that the Nation’s capital has witnessed unprecedented infrastructural development in less than a year of his service as the FCT Minister for which the President has personally commended him. Therefore, Nwuche urged the people to reach out to all nook and cranny of the area to drum support for the Tinubu-led Federal government assuring that he will continue to have the interest of the Ekpeye people at heart and work with the government to attract more development to the area.

He used the opportunity to call on youths to shun acts of criminality and cultism but key into the various life-changing opportunities available in the Tinubu administration.

Supporters

The supporters who came under various political platforms such New Era, Esama Political Grassroots Advocacy (EPGA), Renewed Vision for Prince Chibudom Nwuche, pledged unalloyed loyalty to Prince Nwuche and total support for the political endeavors of Wike and President Tinubu.

Speaking on behalf of the EPGA Ahoada West LGA chapter, a former commissioner in Rivers State, Hon. Uche Igbegiri, thanked Nwuche for providing leadership to Ekpeye people by standing firmly with Wike to deliver the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu, especially the infrastructural revolution presently going on in Abuja. Hon Igbegiri said that Ekpeye people are grateful to Wike for the various developmental projects he executed in Ekpeye during his tenure as governor, adding that the people would never forget that and will remain grateful to him.

Also Speaking a former Chairman of Ahoada West Local Government Area Chief Hon Blessing Agbi told Nwuche that they came to reassure him of the firm stand of Ekpeye people to rally around him as the voice and Pathfinder of Ekpeye people especially when x-raying his achievements when he was in the National Assembly as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, the dividends of which Ekpeye people are still enjoying after 20 years.

In his speech, the Director General of EPGA Ahoada East, Mr Jeffery Anugwo, informed Nwuche that the visit was a result of the desire of the people at the grassroots to come to show solidarity and express their gratitude and support for Wike and Tinubu.

Mr Anugwo noted that Nwuche has contributed to the political development of Nigeria through the important bills he introduced in the National Assembly which include the Nigerians with Disability Bill, Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF), the Nigeria Media Bill, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill (NAPTIP), and those he played a critical role to be passed into law such as the EFCC Act, ICPC Act, NDDC Act, 13% oil derivation that has earned the oil producing states more revenue used for development, etc.

Speaking on behalf of NEW ERA, the President-General Mr Innocent Edi, thanked Nwuche, who is the Grand Patron of the group, for his love and commitment to the welfare of the people through his philanthropy by always responding to the needs of his people at great financial costs.

Edi particularly thanked Nwuche for his tireless and continued efforts in restoring and sustaining peace and security in the area.

The Central Co-ordinator of Renewed Vision for Prince Chibudom Nwuche, Mr VisionPaul Aluchi, told Nwuche that the group which is a coalition of various political groups emerged as a result of the yearnings of the people of the grassroots to be associated with they see him as a bridge to attracting more government presence and catalyst for Ekpeye development.

Mr Aluchi noted that Nwuche’s closeness to Wike when he was governor of Rivers state attracted monumental developments to Ekpeye and Ekpeye people are hopeful that his continued collaboration and support for Wike now as FCT Minister and President Tinubu will attract more democratic dividends to the people.

 

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