…Describes attack as ‘police authoritarianism’
By Nwafor Sunday
Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, has condemned Police attack on Nigerians rallying for the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, on Saturday in Ebonyi state.
Reports had it that the scheduled political rally was disrupted by men and officers of the Nigeria Police force.
It was reported that the mammoth crowd, that gathered at Pastoral Centre of the Catholic Church, Abakaliki, were dispersed as fierce -looking police men shot teargas at them.
The crowd, which couldn’t withstand the harsh reality of the teargases, ran into a nearby Church, where more teargasses were still released.
Reacting, Akin Malaolu, President of the forum, described the attack in a statement as police authoritarianism, advising police officers to desist from repeating same in other states.
Bellow is the full statement:
“The reports and the several videos recorded by members of the public calling the attention of Nigerians and government to a show of shame by the Ebonyi State government and in collaboration with the Police called for concern.
“That people could be teargassed as they rally for their candidates in any coming election is not only unlawful but also a descent into Police Authoritarianism in a democracy.
“We have not seen similar unlawful posturing by the Police in the Southwest or in the North where friends and well-wishers throngs the airport like what took place in Lagos recently when a massive crowd welcome Alhaji Atiku Abubarka of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos and we have similarly seen a free of violence rally for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu the candidate for All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ibadan Oyo State.
“We must warn, that the actions of the police in Ebonyi State must not be allowed to replay itself in other States of the federation. It can snowballed into chaos, spasm of communal bloodletting and take Nigeria into a spin.
“We urge supporters of all candidates to understand their rights for consultation Rally and there is no law against consultation rallies in our nation’s Constitution as at the moment nor that such rallies offend the electoral laws.
“The hierarchy of the Nigerian Police should step in and educate its officers at administration levels everywhere in Nigeria to keep to the rules in a democracy. We shall be glad to see it done and quickly too.”
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