Party Kicks As Police Stops PDP From Holding Rally In Governor Sani Bello’s Hometown 48 Hours To Event

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By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State has accused the Police in the state for acting the script of the governing All Progressives Congress in the state to frustrate opposition and kill all shades of opinion outside the party in government in the state.
The Police on Thursday issued a notice to the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) asking it to stay action on it’s plans to hold a political rally/meeting in Kontagora town, the country home of governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
The PDP in the state had planned to hold it’s mega meeting/rally in Kontagora and had initially notified the Police about it. But the Police Command waited 48 hours to the rally and issued a notice in which it cancelled the planned zone C (Niger-North) meeting/rally of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) scheduled to take place on Saturday, 27th, April.
The Police in their letter to the PDP, cited security concerns for cancelling the planned political rally. The letter reads in parts “due to youth restiveness in the state, all political rallies have been suspended until the security situation improves”.
But the PDP in a reply to the letter from the Police, assured the Police that the party was a law abiding political party. “Our party members have always been law abiding and will not do anything that will truncate the peace in Niger state, particularly in the Niger-North senatorial zone it said”.

Findings by our correspondent in Minna revealed that the Police made further efforts to stop the opposition party from going ahead with it’s planned rally. The Police followed up with another letter to the leadership of the PDP in the state in which it insisted that all political rallies have been banned in the state.

The two letters from the Police to the PDP in Niger state were signed on behalf of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Paul D. Yakadi by one Chief Superintendent of Police, (Admin), Adamu Yusuf.

The PDP in Niger state said the Police Command in the state has become a ready tool in the hands of the All Progressive Congress, (APC) led administration in the state.

It accused the government of using the Police in the state to frustrate activities of opposition parties ahead of next year’s general election.
The party’s north central zonal Chairman, Yahaya Abdullahi Ability said that the PDP was sure the Police was playing the script of the ruling APC especially that the state governor is from Kontagora.
“We in PDP are not surprised by the reason or reasons advanced by the Police in their letter to us. We received privileged information before the first letter reached us that the ruling APC in the state will do everything within its means to use the Police to prevent us from holding the meeting/rally at Kontagora, the hometown of the governor” he alleged.

He however appealed to members of the party to remain calm and law abiding as the leadership of the party was working to sort out the issue with the Police. “We wish to reiterate our position here, that as citizens of this great country, and members of PDP, we are entitled to security cover”.

The zonal Chairman of the party argued that the porported reason of youth restiveness in the state as put forward by the Police to stop the rally, was vague and unspecific and cannot reasonably be a ground to prevent the PDP from holding it’s meeting/rally since there was neither a conflict of venue or any crisis in Kontagora’.

He urged supporters of the party to remain calm even as he assured that legal options would be explored to resolve the matter.

Yahaya Abdullahi Ability noted that where dialogue was not respected by the Police and those behind it in trying to muzzle opposition parties in the state, the constitution of the Nigeria is the last resort.

He however reminded both the Police authority in the state and the APC that the same reason adduced by the Police that all forms of political activities in the state have been suspended, should also affect the forthcoming Ward, Local and state congresses of the governing All Progressive Congress which are equally political activities and are scheduled to be held soon.

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