From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger State police command has for the second time withhold permission for the major opposition political party the PDP in the state to hold its planned mega rally in Kontagora the home town of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
The Zonal Chairman of Niger North Senatorial District (Zone C) Alhaji Yahaya Abdullahi Ability made the disclosure in a press briefing yesterday at the party secretariat in Minna.
Ability lamented that the police are deliberately frustrating the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Niger state despite the fact it has followed all the due process seeking Police permit to hold its Zonal rally and meeting at the headquarter of the zone.
He said that “the Niger North PDP Zone C officially notified the Commissioner of Police on 22nd March, 2017 of its intention to hold Zonal meeting/ Rally in Kontagora on 28th April, 2018”.
According to him, the police commissioner responded in a letter dated 4th April, 2018 stating that “due to youth restiveness in the state all political rallies have been suspended until the security situation improves”.
Ability further hinted that the party was compelled to write another letter on 13th April, 2018 drawing the attention of the CP reassuring to the fact that their party members/youth have always been law abiding an so not intend to cause breakdown of law and order.
Surprised by the party according to Ability today Thursday 26th April, 2018 the party received a letter from the Niger State Commissioner of Police reiterating that there is no peace in Niger State to allowed hosting of meeting/ rally in the state.
It could be recalled that sometimes last year the police on the instruction of the Police commissioner disrupted a PDP meeting at its secretariat blocking the entrance as well derived those inside out of the premises.
Ability however appealed to the party members especially from the zone to remain calm, focus, resolute and law abiding as they will not relent in pursuing lawful resolution of the impasse despite the intimidation and impunity by the Nigerian Police
He added that there is neither conflict of venue nor crises in Kontagora that can prevent the PDP from holding its meeting/ rally hence Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution as amended stated “every person is entitled to assembly freely and associate with other person and may belong to any political party, trade union or another association for the protection of his interest”.
Investigation revealed that the mega rally when organized it will be attended by the national PDP Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus, Atiku Abubakar, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu, Alhaji Umar Nasko who will received a number of decampees from the ruling APC including about four current members of the state House of Assembly.