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Rivers LG crisis: Ex-chairmen support police barricade on secretariats

The immediate past local government chairmen in Rivers State, yesterday led protesters across 21 of the 23 local government areas in the state to express…

The immediate past local government chairmen in Rivers State, yesterday led protesters across 21 of the 23 local government areas in the state to express support for the police continuous barricade on the council secretariats.

The former council bosses, who still insist that they remain in power, along with their loyalists, stormed their various secretariats in solidarity with the ongoing barricade of the secretariats pending the decision of the Court of Appeal on the Speaker Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly.

In Ikwerre Local Government Area, Dr Samuel Nwanosike, who led the protesters to the point of a police barricade and described himself as the properly elected chairman of the council, said they decided to embark on the peaceful demonstration following information that some labour leaders had mobilised to harass the police out of the council.

In Obio-Akpor, Mr George Ariolu, who also said he remained the authentic chairman pending the decision of the court on tenure elongation, said they were out to defend democracy and the rule of law against the forces plotting to force the police to vacate the councils to perpetrate violence.

He said, “We are democrats and must defend this democracy. The beauty of democracy is the rule of law. That is what we stand to defend. We are not going to relent from doing this. The police are here to maintain law and order.

“It took us a lot to keep the secretariat the way it is today and we won’t allow anybody to come and destroy it. We are here to support what the police are doing.”

Daily Trust correspondent also observed that hundreds of pro-police protesters marched to the Port Harcourt City Local Government secretariat, along Bank Road and commended the police for professionally remaining neutral in discharging their responsibilities of maintaining law and order in the state.

In Buguma, the Asari-Toru Local Government, Onengiyeofori George, who continued to lay claim to the chairmanship, and his supporters marched through the streets of the town as they sang songs in solidarity with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike.

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