The Edo State Government on Friday announced a ban on “political rallies, demonstration and processions in the state.”
The announcement was contained in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie.
The government said the ban is due to “rising security concerns occasioned by the spike in protests around Benin metropolis.”
Edo has been politically tense since the crisis between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, started.
Both men are of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a party whose national chairman is Mr Oshiomhole.
However, the APC in Edo has been split into two factions, each loyal to one of the gladiators. The faction loyal to Mr Obaseki has ‘suspended’ Mr Oshiomhole while the faction loyal to Mr Oshiomhole suspended the APC chairman in the state, Anslem Ojezua.
In his statement on Friday, Mr Ogie did not speak on the APC crisis.
He, however, warned parents and guardians “to advise their children and wards not to allow themselves to be used as cannon-fodder in aid of the misguided political ambition and ego of people, whose own children reside and school abroad.”
Read the full statement by the Edo government below.
The Edo State Government on Friday placed a total ban on political rallies, demonstrations and processions in the state over rising security concerns occasioned by the spike in protests around Benin metropolis.
In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, the government expressed concerns over actions capable of breaching public peace in the wake of plans by mischief-makers to organise an unauthorised rally in defiance of the directives of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
The government warned all property owners that any venue used for activities in breach of its orders shall have its right of occupancy immediately revoked and forfeited to the Edo State Government, noting that it will not allow any person to turn the state into a battlefield.
According to him, “The Government of Edo State has, over the past few days, made clear its position that the plans by some identified mischief-makers to organise an unauthorised political rally in Benin City, was capable of leading to a breakdown of public peace and also a danger to the persons and property of Edo citizens.
“The events of yesterday, 12th December, 2019, were a scary prelude to the absolute mayhem which these irresponsible activities would generate if left unchecked.
“In defiance of the clear and publicised instruction of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), calling off the proposed rally owing to the security implications, these desperate persons are presently shopping around for alternative venues to carry out their incendiary activities.”
Noting that the primary purpose of government is the protection of life and property, he said “the government of Edo State has placed a total and complete ban on all political rallies, demonstrations and/or processions in any part of Edo State.
“The Government has further directed all security agencies to deal firmly with all persons (no matter how highly placed), who act in breach of this directive.”
The state government also warned parents and guardians “to advise their children and wards not to allow themselves to be used as cannon-fodder in aid of the misguided political ambition and ego of people, whose own children reside and school abroad.”