Police Stop PDP Meeting in Niger

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

Citing insecurity, the police have cancelled the planned Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zonal meeting/rally slated for Kontagora town in Niger State on Saturday.

The police conveyed the decision cancelling the rally to the party through a letter in which it claimed that “due to youth restiveness in the state all political rallies have been suspended until the security situation improves”.

The PDP, in a reply to the police letter, assured the security agency that “our party members have always been law abiding and will not do anything that will truncate the peace of the state and in particular the Niger North senatorial zone”.

The police were to, according to THISDAY findings, follow up with another letter to the PDP on Thursday in which it maintained that all rallies had been banned in the state.

The two letters were signed on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Paul Yakadi, by the Chief Superintendent of Police (Admin) Adamu Yusuf.

Addressing journalists at the party secretariat in Minna on Thursday, the zonal chairman of the party, Alhaji Yahaya Abdullahi Ability, alleged that the PDP was sure the police was playing the script of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) especially when the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, is from Kontagora.

“The party is not surprised a bit by the reason advanced in the commissioner of police letter. We have received privileged information before his letter reached us that the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state will do everything within its means to ask the police to prevent us from holding the meeting/rally at Kontagora the home town of the state governor.

“We wish to reiterate our position here that as citizens of this great country (Nigeria) and members of PDP we are entitled to security cover,” PDP’s zonal chairman said.

Yahaya Abdullahi said therefore that “the alleged reason of youth restiveness in the state” given by the police to stop the rally “is quite vague and unspecified and cannot reasonably be a ground to prevent the PDP from holding its meeting/rally at Kontagora since there is neither a conflict of venue nor crisis in Kontagora”.

Abdullahi while appealing to “our millions of supporters to remain calm” assured them that legal options would be explored to resolve the impasse.

The zonal chairman also drew the attention of the police commissioner to the fact that “because of the suspension of political activities in the state, the ruling APC too cannot also hold it’s forthcoming ward, local and government and state congresses in the state which are equally political activities”.