Rivers APC suspends protest, to challenge govt’s orders 21, 22 in court

Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says it has cancelled plans to embark on a protest march against the state government’s Orders 21 and 22 which, the APC had severally described as ultra vires.

The party said it would rather challenge the orders in the court saying they were infringements on the rights of citizens to freedom of association and assembly together.

The APC explained that the decision was because the state Police command declined the party’s request for permission for the protest but rather advised the APC to seek redress against the Executive Orders in court instead.

In a press release announcing the cancellation of the protest signed by the Spokesman of the APC campaign council, Sogbeye Eli, the APC stated that it has a suit filed at a Federal High Court in the state, against the Rivers State Governor, The Commissioner of Police, INEC, Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, and the Attorney General of the state amongst several others.

“Contrary to the interpretation being given the position of the Police by political mischief makers and opponents of our great party, the right to protest by citizens is a constitutional right and no Nigerian is under obligation to apply for approval of same from the Police or any other authority.

“Committed to challenging the unconstitutional actions and tyranny of the Rivers State Government, including the obnoxious Executive Orders by legal means, legal action has commenced at the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/239/2022 (All Progressives Congress v. Independent National Electoral Commission & Ors).

“The other defending parties in the Suit are the Police, Governor of Rivers State, Attorney-General of Rivers State, Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, and Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council” the Rivers APC stated.

Recall that the Rivers State Government had issued a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, alleging that the APC was intending to cause chaos in the state under the guise of protesting against the Executive Orders. The State Government had warned that it would take action against anyone who ignored the warning.

The State Government’s statement reads; “It has come to the attention of the Rivers State Government that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has perfected plans to orchestrate unrest with the sole aim of causing disruptions to the peace that exists in the state under the guise of protesting over Executive Orders 21 & 22 duly issued by the Rivers State Government recently.

“Whereas Government believes that APC, and indeed, anyone or group has a right to approach the court for proper interpretation of all matters that border on the law, it would be wrong for anyone or group to resort to carrying out actions that may endanger or compromise public peace either knowingly or by omission.

“Therefore, the Rivers State Government is hereby warning the APC and any other group not to embark on any action that is likely to cause disruption of the peace the people and residents of the state enjoy, more so, at this time that many dignitaries are being received in the state to commission projects undertaken by the government.

“It is important to remind the APC and all groups that government will respond adequately to anyone or group hell-bent on disturbing the prevalent peace in the state under any guise whatsoever. No one should take the lenient and accommodating disposition of the Wike administration to mean weakness or lack of political will. Far from it!

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