James Eze

The Ebonyi state chapter of the All Progressives Congress has accused the Ebonyi State Police Commissioner, Miagari Dikko, of stopping the party’s solidarity rally in celebration of the emergence of the President-elect in the just concluded presidential election in the country.police_nigeria

The victory rally was slated to hold Saturday morning at the Abakaliki Township Stadium.

Speaking with journalist in Abakaliki, the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Ngaji Nwodo, said the party had four days ago applied for the use of the township stadium for the rally and approval was given by the stadium management and the police.

He said his party was shocked when the police commissioner aborted the gathering on Saturday morning.

Mr. Nwodo explained that a podium had been mounted, chairs arranged while other facilities had been put in place before the police invasion.

When journalists visited the stadium, stern looking police officers, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence and officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission, numbering over 50, used their Hilux vans and Armoured Personnel Carrier to block entrances to the complex.

A request the APC said it sent to the police for the rally reads, “I am directed to inform your office that the APC Ebonyi State Chapter will hold a solidarity rally in support of the President Elect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, 23rd May 2015by 10.00am at the Abakaliki Township Stadium.

“The President-Elect Gen Muhammadu Buhari and other distinguished personalities will visit Ebonyi State from Abia State. Consequently, I am directed to most humbly request you to provide adequate Police security during the visit of the President-Elect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, (GCFR)”.

Mr. Nwodo said the party also “ wrote to the stadium management for the use of the Stadium and the management graciously approved the use. We likewise wrote to the police and there was no counter order concerning the rally only for them to mobilize over 200 policemen to invade the stadium to stop the rally.”

The party accused the police of collaborating with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party and Senator Juluis Ali Ucha to stop the rally, saying the stoppage of the rally was aimed at whittling down the growing popularity of the APC in the State.

Over 20,000 Peoples Democratic Party PDP and Labour Party supporters were expected to dump their political parties for the APC in the state during the rally.

The national leadership of the party was already on ground to receive the defectors, Mr. Nwodo said.

When contacted, the Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer, Chris Anyanwu, said the Police did not stop the rally.

He said it was a group of persons from the party who wrote to the police stating that the President-elect would no longer visit the state and that the rally would no longer hold.

He said the individuals also alleged that some strong and prominent members of the PDP and Labour party in the State wanted to hijack the state chapter of the APC .

Mr. Anyanwu said it would be wrong for the police to stop any rally organized in honour of the President Elect.

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