Why We Stopped IPAD Protest – Imo Police Command
By Austin Echefu
The Imo State Police Command on Monday said that it stopped the Occupy Imo protest scheduled to hold from Monday, 18th to 24th December, 2017, by the Imo People Action for Democracy (IPAD).
IPAD which is a coalition of civil society organizations said they would be protesting against bad governance in the state as provided by the Rochas Okorocha led Rescue Mission Government.
But in a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Andrew Enwerem, the Imo State Police Command said they stopped the pro and anti government rallies planned to hold in the State by IPAD and a pro government group scheduled to hold same day for security reasons.
IPAD which had planned a peaceful protest on Monday met a brick wall as security agencies made of the Police, Army, Civil Defence, Road Safety and Immigration barricaded Emmanuel College Roundabout Owerri, adjoining streets and paraded major streets and roads in a bid to stop the rally.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer, the Imo State Police Command said that “While acknowledging that peaceful protest is the right of every Nigerian in a Democracy, the State Police Command after a careful assessment and evaluation of the security situation in Imo State such as kidnapping and armed robbery with increased human population as a result of Xmas and New Year celebrations, with no increase in the strength of Police personnel to police such crowd, has viewed both Rallies as untimely especially this Yuletide activities, decided to disapprove the Rallies and have communicated the applicants accordingly”.
The Police added: “However, Intelligence and information available to the Imo State Police Command revealed that the groups are determined to go ahead with their planned Rallies and Protest.
“The rights of the majority of Imolites who do not belong to any of the groups but deserves peace and security must be respected.
“The Police Command has therefore warned that any group or groups who insists in engaging in any form of Rally or Protest is on his own and will have no protection from the Imo Police Command who will not toy with its security arrangement to ensure the security and safety of the majority of the law abiding Imo Citizens. The demonstrators are urged to shelve their demonstrations and reapply after the Xmas and New Year festivities.
“Parents and guardians are advised to warn their children and wards to resist any attempt by any group that will bring them in confrontation with the law.
“The law abiding public are urged to go about their lawful businesses and Yuletide activities without fear of any molestation as the Police in conjunction with other security agencies in the State are working assiduously ensure the security and safety of the environment.”