Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, has banned political activities, especially rallies of non-governmental organisations, loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, and his political rival and supervising minister of education, Chief Nyesom Wike.
The organisations include the Save Rivers Movement (SRM), the Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation (RIVLEAF), and the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI).
While SRM and RIVLEAF are loyal to Amaechi, and believes in the policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the GDI, founded and sponsored by Wike, is loyal to the Chief Felix Obuah-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
A statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Mr. Ahmad Kidaya Muhammad, a deputy superintendent of Police (DSP), said the decision to ban political activities of the three groups followed increasing political tension in the state.
The statement however advised that membership drive by political parties should be strictly adhered to as stipulated by the Electoral Act 2000, as amended, as well as in line with the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It reads in part; “The Rivers State Police Command wishes to inform members of the public that as a result of increasing political tension in the state, The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Police Command, has banned all political rallies in the State under whatever coloration or name.
“Accordingly, all public activities involving rallies of Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), Save Rivers Movement (SRM), Rivers Leadership Advancement Foundation (RIVLEAF) and whatever other names, are hereby banned.
“Rivers State Police Command will not, I repeat, will not provide security for any group in whatever guise.
Party membership drive is allowed strictly as stipulated in Electoral Act 2010 as amended and INEC regulations, please”.