Ban On Rallies At Airports: APC Accuses Police Of Selective Enforcement

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the police of engaging in a selective enforcement of its ban on political, socio-cultural and  religious rallies at the nation’s airports, saying this does not bode  well for the 2015 general elections when the police is expected to be  neutral and professional in carrying out its duties.
In a statement  issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary,  Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the police was wrong to have allowed the PDP to flout the ban with impunity on Feb. 1st, when hundreds of  the party’s members thronged the Bauchi Airport to welcome new PDP  Chairman Adamu Muazu.
It said a video  footage of the reception showed PDP supporters, cultural troops and  praise singers besieging the airport and even surrounding the plane just like passengers would have surrounded a ‘Molue’ in a bus stop.
APC said armed  policemen at the airport looked on as the ban, which was contained in a  statement issued by force spokesman Frank Mba on Nov. 6th, was flouted  by the PDP.
”The questions to ask are: Is the ban not applicable to the PDP? If it is  applicable to it, what has the police done to sanction the party  since it breached the order over two weeks ago? If the police will allow the PDP to get away with such lawlessness, can the same police sanction any other party or individual who breaches its order banning rallies at airports?” it queried.
The party said the double standard being exhibited by the police is the  reason many Nigerians are saying the Nigeria Police Force has turned  itself to the enforcement arm of the PDP or that the force has even  merged with the party.
”This does not  augur well for the image of the police and it sends a wrong signal about whether the police can be neutral and professional before, during and  after the 2015 elections. It also raises doubt about the ability of the  police to effectively carry out its constitutional duty of ensuring the  protection of lives and property.
”The police  ridicules itself and wears down its own authority when it panders to the PDP, whereas the force is being maintained by the tax payers, whether  or not they belong to the ruling party. The police, more than perhaps  any other government agency, should know that no one, no matter how  highly placed, is above the law, and that lawful orders from the police  are not for selective enforcement.
”We are  therefore waiting for the police to either appropriately sanction the  PDP for contravening its orders or immediately lift the ban on rallies  at the airports. Failure to act will show the police as a partisan and  unprofessional force that cannot be relied upon to adequately provide  security and help ensure a level playing field for all parties in the  forthcoming general elections, not to talk of carrying out is  constitutional role!” APC said
Alhaji Lai Mohammed Interim National Publicity Secretary

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