Home News SESSPN Condemns Police Siege on Rivers State Local Government Secretariats

SESSPN Condemns Police Siege on Rivers State Local Government Secretariats

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Lagos, July 3, 2024 – The South East South South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) has expressed grave concerns over the actions of the Nigerian Police Force regarding the recent siege on the secretariats of the 23 local government councils of Rivers State. In a press conference held today, SESSPN President Hannibal Egbe Uwaifo addressed the media, condemning the police’s unilateral actions as illegal, baseless, and a threat to democracy.

Unilateral Police Actions Criticised

Uwaifo criticised the Nigerian Police Force for occupying the local government councils under the pretext of security concerns and ongoing court cases. He pointed out that the police’s actions have prevented workers from accessing their offices and fulfilling their duties. Uwaifo emphasized that the police are not party to the court cases and have no mandate to act on behalf of the courts. He argued that the indefinite closure of council secretariats is unreasonable and suggested that the police’s actions reflect partisanship rather than a commitment to upholding the law.

Concerns Over Constitutional Crisis

The SESSPN highlighted the legal and constitutional implications of the police’s actions, noting that the local government chairmen were elected for fixed terms and that any attempt to extend their tenure through amendments is illegal. Uwaifo stressed that local government councils are under the control of state governments, and there is no indication that the Rivers State Government invited the police to intervene. He warned that the police’s involvement could lead to a constitutional crisis and called for the immediate withdrawal of police forces from the councils.

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Call for Peace and Legal Action

Uwaifo commended Rivers State Governor Sir Siminalayi Fubara for his restraint and maturity in handling the situation. He assured the governor of SESSPN’s support in all legal efforts to protect the people of Rivers State. Uwaifo also urged stakeholders to avoid calling for a state of emergency in Rivers State, arguing that such a measure is unwarranted given the current security situation compared to other parts of Nigeria.

Upcoming Edo State Gubernatorial Elections

Addressing the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo State, Uwaifo called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a transparent and fair election. He expressed concerns over President Bola Tinubu’s statements about winning Edo State for his party, citing fears of potential rigging and manipulation. Uwaifo urged politicians to prioritize the interests of Edo State and its people over personal or party gains.

Critique of Federal Government Policies

SESSPN also criticized the federal government’s handling of the economy, highlighting the widespread hunger, poverty, and inflation affecting Nigerians. Uwaifo condemned the government’s focus on frivolous spending and appointments while neglecting essential services and failing to address the deteriorating exchange rate. He called on the government to take immediate action to reverse the current economic decline and alleviate the suffering of the Nigerian people.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SESSPN called for immediate legal action and peaceful protests to ensure the police vacate the local government councils in Rivers State. The association reiterated its commitment to supporting lawful and democratic processes and urged the federal government to address the pressing economic challenges facing the nation.

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