The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has described as “ineffectual” the ban on public protests in the state by the Rivers government.
The government, which announced the ban on Thursday, said it was with “immediate effect” and meant to protect public peace and safety.
It is “the height of absurdity by a government,” the APC said in a statement on Friday from its spokesperson, Chris Finebone.
The APC said Rivers people, and indeed every Nigerian, has the inalienable right to peaceful protest.
“Perhaps the governor should be reminded that Honourable Justice Adekeye J.S.C. (rtd) once stated that, ‘A rally or placard carrying demonstration has become a form of expression of views on current issues affecting government and the governed in a sovereign state.
It is a tread recognized and deeply entrenched in the system of governance in civilized countries. We must borrow a leaf from those who have trekked the rugged path of democracy and are now reaping the dividend of their experience,” the APC said.
The party said Governor Nyesom Wike, through the decision, wants to stop the people from exposing the “ills and atrocities” of his administration.
“It is necessary at this point to inform Gov. Wike that his ban on protest is simply waste of time and space. Nigeria Police cannot enforce an illegal ban except the governor intends to deploy his usual gun-toting hoodlums.
“He should remember that this is not 2015; this is 2019. If the governor tries it, he will not like the outcome and he knows it,” the party said.