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Police quit Rivers councils

The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, on Sunday ordered men of the Rivers State police command to vacate the secretariats of the 22 local government councils of the state.

Governor Nyesom Wike, who confirmed the withdrawal of the police, said he personally called Arase to brief him on the true situation on ground.

This is as the state police command warned groups to suspend planned protests in Port Harcourt today, in favour or against the judgment of the Federal High Court, which nullified the election of chairmen and councillors of the councils.

The command, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by Mr. Austin Agbonlahor, a deputy commissioner of police, on behalf of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Azike, said such protests if allowed could get out of hand and lead to breakdown of law and order.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied any involvement in the occupation of the council secretariats, which came shortly after the court nullified the May 25 council poll.

The APC, in a statement issued yesterday in Port Harcourt by its state chairman, Dr. Davies Ikanya, denied claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that it was behind the takeover of local government secretariats by the police

Read also: PDP alleges plot by FG to destabilise Rivers

Ikanya said: “The accusation is watery, baseless and without foundation. APC as a party has nothing to do with the police takeover of the council secretariats in Rivers State. We are not a lawless party like PDP that used the police and other security organs to make the state virtually ungovernable when they were in power at the centre.”

He stated that the party had always been known as a party that respects and advocates strict adherence to the rule of law, so there was no way it would suddenly turn around to do otherwise.

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