- The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers says Governor Wike has no right to stop residents from protesting
- The party tells the governor that peaceful protests are entrenched in the constitution of the country
- The APC alleges that one of the reasons Wike banned protests is to attempt to frustrate the people from exposing the ills of his government
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers on Friday, March 29, condemned the recent ban on the public rallies and protests in the state by the state governor, Nyesom Wike.
The party said this through a statement issued in Port Harcourt, the capital of the state, by Chris Finebone, its publicity secretary.
The party considered the ban announced by the Rivers Government as the height of absurdity.
The party also described the ban as an act of illegality as it reminded Nyesom Wike that Rivers people and indeed Nigerians had legal right to peaceful protest.
“Wike should be reminded that honourable retired Justice Adekeye JSC once stated that, 'A rally or placard carrying demonstration has become a form of expression of views on current issues affecting government and the governed'.
“It is a trend recognised and deeply entrenched in the system of governance in civilised countries.
“We must borrow a leaf from those who have trekked the rugged path of democracy and are now reaping the dividend of their experience.
“Why Wike would after wasting the people’s commonwealth on frivolous protests and in less than 24 hours, after the last of those protests, pronounce a ban on protests?
“The reason can only be that those protesting on the opposite side are now providing Rivers people and Nigerians better perspectives on the happenings in Rivers.
“The governor is simply acting like someone with a weak and incoherent argument against the more coherent, sensible and logical argument of the opponent.
“Another reason for the ineffectual ban is to scuttle further exposure of the ills and atrocities of the state government that have punished civil servants," the statement said.
According to the APC, pensioners, civil servants, workers of RSSDA and Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority and others might soon protest their alleged abandonment and suffering.
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“It is necessary at this point to inform Governor Wike that his ban on protest is simply waste of time and space.
“Nigeria police cannot enforce an illegal ban except the governor intends to deploy his usual gun-toting hoodlums.
“He should remember that this is not 2015; this is 2019. If the governor tries it, he will not like the outcome and he knows it,” it said.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Nyesom Wike announced a ban on all public protests arising from the recent elections in the state.
Wike’s decision came hours after an earlier protest by some groups which accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of bias during the presidential, governorship and House of Assembly elections.
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