The Nigerian Police has temporarily stopped the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, from flagging off campaign in preparation for the February 26 by election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had scheduled the Ogoja-Yala Federal constituency and the Akpabuyo state constituency by-elections for Saturday February 26, 2022 and released a schedule for political activities to commence.
It was in line with the election umpire’s guideline that the PDP scheduled to kick-off campaigns on Saturday February 19, 2022.
However, officers of the Cross River State Police Command at the instance of the Commissioner, Mr.
Aminu Alhassan, cordoned off the Calabar Sports Club, venue of PDP rally.
Alhassan, in an interview with some journalists, confirmed that he deployed policemen to temporarily seal off the venue die to security concerns.
According to the police commissioner, “I sent the security to avoid breakdown of law and order in the state.
Two big parties cannot hold events the same day so that they will not cause problem.
“So, I had to stop the PDP’s own and allow APC.
PDP can hold their own tomorrow, please,” Alhassan stated.
He further explained that the two political parties applied and received approvals to hold their events, noting “the APC youths summit had already started their activities, which is climaxing today.
Meanwhile, those expected at the PDP rally included Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, the governor of Edo State, Mr.
Godwin Obasekii and his Benue State counterpart, Mr.
Samuel Ortom as well as Dr.
Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
It was gathered that the PDP campaign committee, made up of over 1, 000 members was to be inaugurated today, February 19, 2022, and dispersed to their various wards and polling units to intensify campaigns for the two candidates, Mr.
Mike Usibe for Ogoja/Yala Federal constituency and Dr Effiom Ekeng Edet for Akpabuyo State House of Assembly.
In a swift reaction to the situation, the Cross River State chapter of the party in a statement signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Mr.
Mike Ojisi indicate “we received with utmost dismay and consternation the news of the ignoble attempt by Governor Ben Ayade to stop the epoch-making PDP flag-off rally scheduled to hold today, 19th February 2022.
“As a party, we condemn in strong terms this bizzare act of political intolerance, bullying and intimidation by the governor.
It is worthy of note to stress that the said flag-off rally has been approved by INEC and all the relevant agencies in the State, as such, we find the governor’s attempt to stop the rally absolutely unbecoming, nauseating and undemocratic.
“We call on security agencies to rise up to the occasion and guarantee the safety of all PDP faithful.
We call on all party faithful to remain committed and resolute as this too shall pass.
Cross River State belongs to all of us; and nobody no matter how highly placed can deny us the privilege of political participation,” indicated the PDP.
Cross River: Police halts proposed PDP rally