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  • News - South South - Rivers
  • Updated: June 22, 2024

Rivers LG lockdown: CLO, 40 CSOs give Police 7 days to vacate secretariats

Rivers LG lockdown: CLO, 40 CSOs give Police 7 days to vacat

The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) and over 40 affiliate Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Nigerian Police, demanding the immediate withdrawal of its personnel from the 23 local government councils in Rivers State.

According to them, failure to comply will lead to a statewide mass anti-police protest, as they condemn the police occupation as "insulting and demeaning" to the people of Rivers State.

"We give the Nigerian Police a 7-day ultimatum, which expires next Friday, June 28, 2024, to withdraw its men from the 23 secretariats across the local government areas of the state," declared Comrade Enefaa Georgewill, South-South zonal chairman of CLO.

"We are at the moment consulting with all our affiliates and giving the police Command a time of grace to do the needful", he said further.

Georgewill emphasized that the police deployment, ordered by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, is unconstitutional and violates a competent court's ruling on the matter.

"A competent court of jurisdiction had ruled that the Martins Amaewhule Assembly had no right to make laws for the extension of the tenure of the past council chairmen. Police ought to obey the subsisting judgment and remain neutral in the matter pending the final ruling by the Appeal Court," he said.

The CLO chairman stressed that the police occupation is hindering the newly sworn-in caretaker chairmen from performing their duties, forcing them to operate from alternative locations.

"We have a Governor who has decided the crisis arising from the local government tenure imbroglio by swearing in a new caretaker committee to carry out the administrative work at the councils pending the conduct of LG elections," Georgewill noted.

The CLO and affiliate organizations are prepared to take to the streets if the police fail to vacate the secretariats within the ultimatum period. "We will not fold our arms and watch the police turn Rivers State into a police state," Georgewill warned. "We demand an end to this impunity and a return to constitutional governance."

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