From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna.
The Niger state Commissioner of Police Olusola Amore has told all Political parties in the state that street rallies has been banned even as he outlaw the use of street urchin called “yandaba” boys notoriously using dangerous weapons in street fight in the entire state during the electioneering campaigns.
Olusola Amore handed down the warning yesterday in Minna while interacting with gubernatorial aspirants of all political parties and gubernatorial candidates in the state.
He noted that the ban on street rallies by the parties and their candidates became imperative to forestall outbreak of violence among supporters of the contestants.
According to CP, “All rallies must be held in a specified venue so that the police can provide adequate security before and after such gathering. We will not tolerate a situation whereby party supporters will clash in the streets to trigger violence”.
Amore stated that political parties must obtain permit for rallies in identified venues for adequate protection by security agencies adding that police will occupy rally venues without permit
While assuring that the police will be impartial in the conduct of the election, the Commissioner implored politicians to play according to the rules in ensuring peaceful elections.
“The law prohibits the use of inflammatory language and provocative actions or manifestation that can incite violence against another party or candidate. Similarly political parties and their candidates should say no to thuggery and we should have in our mind that the law equally prohibits use of private security organization, vanguard or any other group for the purpose of providing security during campaigns, rallies processions or elections”, he said.
He expressed concern over the activities of street urchins and hoodlums known in the local environment as “Yandaba” which he said have armed themselves with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons causing mayhem in major streets of in Minna and other parts of the state, adding that the command has outlawed the group and that the police will continue to arrest them if caught in the act.
He called on candidates to advise their supporters not to come to venue of rallies or polling units with cutlasses or other dangerous weapons adding that the police will arrest and prosecute any one caught with weapons near political rallies.
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Jibrin Imam and his counterpart in PDP, Hon. Umar Musa Maali commended the efforts of the police command in ensuring peaceful elections in their contributions to the session.