Group condemns police occupation of Rivers’ councils

Expresses worry over escalating economic, social issues The South-East South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) has condemned the siege laid by the Nigerian Police on the Secretariats of the 23 local councils of Rivers State, describing it as illegal, baseless and irresponsible.     A clash that occurred recently in Port Harcourt, the state capital, over the tenure of council chairmen, resulted in the death of a police officer and a vigilante member.   The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, had stated that his officers would remain at the council secretariats until the court rules on the tenure extension crisis in the state.   The group’s President, Hannibal Uwaifo, at a world press briefing, yesterday, condemned, in its totality, the unilateral actions of the Police, which purportedly for security reasons, claimed that the matter is in court.    SESSPN believes that the Nigerian Police has legal advisers and is composed of reasonable men who are conversant with the Nigerian Constitution, and therefore, should know the difference between elected and appointed officials.   He said:  “The police authorities further inflamed sensibilities when the leadership insisted that the illegal occupation will continue until the court rules. This is sad and unfortunate for Nigeria in 2024.”   SESSPN urged the IGP to withdraw the officers immediately or face legal actions, including peaceful protests until they vacate the councils. It noted that the Federal Government has no power to remove an elected governor, not even an elected council chairman under the Constitution.   Additionally, the group called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to redeem its image by conducting a very transparent election in Edo State.     “We believe that INEC, as an independent body, must hold its grounds and conduct a transparent election where the votes of the people will count,” Uwaifo said.   The body urged politicians in Edo State to comport themselves and see the election as an opportunity to advance the interest of the state, and not for their personal interest or that of their political parties.   Also, the group’s General Secretary, Kalu Onuma, lamented the escalating economic and social problems plaguing Nigeria, criticising the Federal Government’s policies that have exacerbated poverty and hunger.  The post Group condemns police occupation of Rivers’ councils appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

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