The Save Rivers Movement, organisers of a police-botched rally last Sunday, have scheduled another rally for Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, southern Nigeria. It will take place on Sunday, 19 January.
The new rally comes a week after some policemen from the Rivers State Police Command disrupted its rally and reportedly shot, with rubber bullets, the Senator Magnus Abe, representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District.
For the Khana rally, the SRM said it had again notified the police and asked for police protection for those coming to attend the rally.
The President of the Save Rivers Movement, Barrister Charles Aholu showed copies of letters written to the police on the forthcoming rally. According to him, it was only appropriate for the non-governmental organization to inform the police of the Sunday rally.
Senator Wilson Ake with mic (centre), Hon. Andrew Uchendu (left), Hon. Sokonte Davice (left), Hon. Maurice Pronen (extreme left), Hon. Asita Honourable (immediate right) and Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke briefing the press on the forthcoming Save Rivers Movement rally at Khana LGA. He said the Save Rivers Movement was formed to promote good governance and accountability and educate the voting public on how to make sound voting choices ahead of next year’s general elections.
The President of the Save Rivers Movement said: “Our association is a non-governmental organization that was formed to promote good governance, transparency, accountability and judicial best practices. It is an organization that was formed to give impetus to the fact that electorates have to exercise their rights with respect to electioneering activities come 2015.
“Save Rivers Movement as an association does everything humanly possible to ensure that our electorates make the right choices so that we will have sustainable development in Rivers State and it is an association that is against all form of impunity, injustice and acts capable of undermining the interest of the Rivers man.
“This is a notification to the entire world. Our lawyers have written to them (police) reminding them of the said notification, so we expect the police as a reasonable institution, as an institution that is supposed to be unbiased to provide security on that day (January 19)”.
Corroborating the President of the Save Rivers Movement, the Leader of the Rivers Caucus in the National Assembly and Senator representing Rivers-West Senatorial District, Senator Wilson Ake confirmed that the Save Rivers Movement had actually informed the police of the planned Khana rally next Sunday.
He appealed to the police to accordingly provide security and expectedly remain non-partisan in the country’s political activities especially as the 2015 general elections draw nearer.
“We have been reliably informed and we have seen the document too that is before us that the leadership of Save Rivers Movement have notified the police of their impending launching and rally in Khana Local Government Area on Sunday.
“We decided to go to this length to assure the public that the Save Rivers Movement is a serious body and have at many given time followed the procedures as requested or required by law. We made sure and we are confirming it here they have indeed notified the police. We have two documents to confirm that.
“This is consequent upon what happened on Sunday to one of our colleagues. We have to take personal interest in what they are doing to stem what happened on Sunday from happening again and we want to appeal to the police to allow peace to reign, to provide security for all the citizens of Rivers State that would be at that venue on Sunday.
“We wouldn’t want what happened last Sunday to repeat as it has shown that the (Save Rivers) Movement is made up of peace-loving and law-abiding citizens of this country and please let them (police) reciprocate this attitude of our people by giving them protection, by encouraging them to do what they are supposed to do on Sunday peacefully without any repeated ugly incident”.
He lamented the alleged police brutality on Senator Abe, warning that the police should not allow themselves to be used by the opposition as tools for oppression.
Leader of 37 defected (formerly PDP) members of the House of Representatives, Andrew Uchendu, representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency, regretted the unjustified police invasion during last Sunday’s rally by the Save Rivers Movement in Rumuola in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
He said the police intrusive misbehavior during the last rally organized by the Save Rivers Movement would not become sustainable in a free democratic Nigeria.
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