PORT HARCOURT (Sundiata Post) – Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has banned all forms of street protests in the state, condemning the street protests by an organisation called the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which have crippled commercial activities in the state.
The governor declared : “Let no one be in doubt of the resolve of the Rivers State Government and the security agencies to maintain law and order at all cost within the state and preserve the unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In a state-wide broadcast on Tuesday night, Governor Wike decried the movement of protesters from neighbouring states into Rivers State, noting that they have inflicted injuries on other citizens going about their lawful businesses.
He said: “Majority of these individuals have come from neighbouring states and in the course of these protests, disrupted social and economic activities, damaged properties, assaulted and inflicted injuries on other citizens going about their lawful endeavours.”
“While individuals and groups are free to exercise their freedom of expression, they must do so peacefully and strictly within the bounds of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. No individual or group has the right, whatsoever, to disturb public peace and order, threaten the safety of the public and create fear and an atmosphere of insecurity in the State or any part thereof.
“The right of any group of persons to agitate for their perceived rights cannot be allowed to infringe on the rights of other Nigerians, especially the people of Rivers State to remain an integral component of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Banning all forms of street protests, Governor Wike : “Consequently, after due consultations with the members of the State Security Council, and in exercise of my constitutional responsibility to preserve the safety, security and corporate integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is hereby ordered that all forms of street protests, demonstrations, rallies or unlawful gatherings associated with the agitations for the secession of any group from the Federal Republic of Nigeria are banned in Rivers State.
“Any person or group who violates this ban or acts in any manner prejudicial to the interest of peace and security would be arrested and prosecuted. ”
The governor commended security agencies for their mature handling of the the protests so far, urging them to continue to work in the right direction.