THE Rivers State Police Command has restated its ban on all forms of unauthorised rallies in the state.
State Police Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, who made this remark in a statement issued by the command in Port Harcourt on Thursday, warned that the police would remove any group or political association gathering without security clearance from the road.
The commissioner’s statement is coming on the heels of series of protests trailing the appointment of an administrative chief judge for the state by the National Judicial Council and the amendment of the State High Court Amendment Law.
Ogunsakin explained that he had a responsibility to ensure that all gatherings for whatever reason were done within the ambits of the law.
“On the assessment of security situations in the state, it has become necessary to re-enforce the ban on political rallies.
“As the chief law enforcement officer in Rivers State, I have a responsibility to ensure that all gatherings for whatever reason, whether politically motivated or otherwise are carried out within the ambits of the law and in a way that there will not be any breakdown of law and order in the state.
“Henceforth, any group, persons or political parties of whatever persuasion who flouts this directive to embark on demonstrations or processions without security clearance will be removed from the road.
“It is also imperative to re-iterate for the umpteenth time that political rallies remain banned in all parts of the country in compliance with Section 99 (1) of the Electoral Act,” he said.
Ogunsakin pointed that that it was compulsory for any group to obtain security clearance from his office before holding any political rally.
“The need for security clearance has become inevitable in order to prevent a seeming plot unveiled by intelligence reports by a group aimed at disrupting the meetings of a rival group in order to cause serious crisis in the state.
“Consequently, security clearance will only be given after the police have conducted a security analysis and evaluation of the situation and intelligence at its disposal.
“It is after we have given security clearance that the police can put in place adequate security mechanisms to prevent any form of breakdown of law and order. This is further meant to ensure that law and order is maintained in Rivers State for the interest of all,” the state police commissioner added.