The police stated this in a statement signed by Frank Mba, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, in Abuja on Wednesday.
“The force has observed with dismay the attitude of some Nigerians who have chosen the nation’s airports as points of congregating their followers.
“These assemblies do not only constitute a nuisance to the airport environment but are also a threat to the security of both genuine travellers and the airport authority,” it said.
It said the police would henceforth bring the full weight of the law to bear on anybody found to sponsor or being part of unlawful assembly. It warned the public against unlawful assembly due to the security challenges in parts of the country and the political crisis in Rivers.
Recent reports indicated that political opponents of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers stormed the Port Harcourt Airport on Tuesday when four Northern governors visited him and pelted them with stones.
“Citizens are reminded that airports all over the world are regarded as restricted areas and as such are traditionally shielded from unnecessary intrusion,” he said.
The statement also warned against unguarded, inflammatory and provocative statements capable of promoting hatred and disunity.
The statement, however, noted the rights of citizens to expression, peaceful assembly and movement as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria.
It stressed that such rights should be exercised within the bounds of the law.
“Therefore, all assemblies must be peaceful, lawful and must not be intentionally contrived to provoke or abridge the rights of other citizens. The force will not fold its arms and watch some persons or group of persons tear down the bond of the country’s unity.
“The force wishes to remind Nigerians that the law on unlawful and riotous assembly as provided for in our Criminal and Penal Laws are still in force.”