The Imo Peoples Action for Democracy (IPAD) has noted with dismay the plot by the Imo State government to use the Imo state command of the Nigerian police to scuttle our peaceful rally scheduled to commence on the 18th of December 2017 in Owerri. As a responsible organization we had earlier written to both the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Services to inform them of our rally and for them to carry out their constitutional obligation of providing protection for the rally. While the later saw no problem in a peaceful rally, the former could not conform to the provisions of the constitution. The Imo State command of the Nigerian police which the public presently perceive as compromised by the Imo state government, expectedly raised objection to our peaceful rally citing flimsy reasons. After a careful review of this development we therefore state as follows:
1. That our rally has been planned to be peaceful and non confrontational and cannot be a threat to peace and security in the state.
2. That the 1999 constitution as amended has given us the right to peaceful rally which the police cannot remove.
3. That the police should refrain from being used as a tool to suppress the civil rights of the citizens.
4. That we are perplexed as to why a sponsored pro government group “Rochas Mandate” would be allowed and protected to hold a rally on the 15th of December and then decide to scuttle a peaceful rally of the people.
5. IPAD will continue with her peaceful rally as scheduled on the 18th of December 2017.
6. That the Imo state government and the Imo state command of the Nigerian police should be held responsible if the rally is attacked by paid agents since they have shown strong intent to scuttle the rally.
7. That the Inspector General of the police should immediately call the Commissioner of Police in Imo to order to ensure he respects the right to freedom of assembly in Imo state.
8. That we commend the DSS command in Imo for displaying an uncommon maturity in appreciating and respecting our right to peaceful assembly.
Aku Obidinma Marjorie Ezihe
(Coordinator) (Secretary org. Committee)