Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Opposition flays police ban on protests in Nasarawa State

By Adamu Abuh (Abuja) and Abel Abogonye (Lafia)
28 March 2023   |   4:29 am
The police ban on protests in the wake of the peaceful march by women to contest result of the governorship poll in Nasarawa State has elicited reactions.

[FILE] Mr Labaran Maku, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Nasarawa State

Observers seek review of Kano guber poll outcome
The police ban on protests in the wake of the peaceful march by women to contest result of the governorship poll in Nasarawa State has elicited reactions.

State PDP Chairman, Chief Francis Orogu, described the embargo as unconstitutional.

“You can’t beat a child and tell him or her not to cry. What the women are doing is what is done anywhere in the world. They are expressing their pain of (allegedly) being robbed of their votes,” he said.

To former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, the police do not have the right to ban peaceful protest since it is the constitutional right of citizens.

He said: “We are aware Governor Sule gave the police the order to ban the women from protesting peacefully across the state. You can’t stop people from embarking on peaceful protest when you have not done anything to address their grievances.

“Even during military rule, citizens resisted ban on protest. When you ban people from engaging in peaceful protest, you may be looking for some trouble that you may not be able to curtail.”

But the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) urged PDP to seek redress in court if dissatisfied with the gubernatorial outcome.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the spokesman, Chief Douglas Otaru, in Lafia.

Also yesterday, accredited Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Domestic Observer Groups, again, faulted the declaration of candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Abba Kabir Yusuf, as winner of the recent governorship election in Kano State.

The coalition, chaired by Alhaji Ali Abacha, in a statement, called on the electoral umpire to examine the BVAS machines and Forms EC8A from Gwarzo, Tudun Wada, Bagwai, Dala and Fagge Councils.

It argued that there were alleged cases of irregularities on the part of some state and non-state actors that undermined the process in the aforementioned councils.

Justifying the call for the review, the coalition maintained that there was no way Yusuf’s declaration could stand since the margin of lead, put at 128,897 votes, was less than the supposed total number of cancelled votes of “273,442.”

“Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) is very clear on cases like these,” it stressed.

The coalition was reacting to a report by the Transition monitoring group (TMG), in conjunction with other CSOs, which conveyed the impression that it called for outright cancellation of the Kano governorship poll.

The body observed: “We are apolitical, neutral and had no affiliation with any political party. As a Coalition of Election Observer Groups, we are neither faceless nor partisan as being reported to malign the image of the coalition before the good people of Kano and the nation at large.

“We want to reiterate here that we are experienced observer groups with over 30 years field experience in election observations in Nigeria and other African countries.

“As a coalition of duly accredited INEC Domestic Observer Groups, it has been a tradition that at the end of every election exercise, we compile, compare and report what is obtained from various field officers deployed to all the 44 Councils of Kano State.

“To this end, every information collated by our field officers has been proven to be accurate, reliable and verifiable, without any act of misinformation or mischief intended to hurt, please or malign any particular interest.”

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