Governor,Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Tuesday banned protests by “some unauthorised group” calling for the release of the director of a pirate radio station, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
In a state broadcast, Mr. Wike banned all forms of street protests, demonstrations, rallies or unlawful gatherings associated with the agitations for the secession of any group from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For the second time within a month individuals and groups purporting to represent the indigenous people of Biafra have held unauthorized protests on the streets in Port Harcourt…Majority of these individuals have come from neighbouring states and in the course of these protests, disrupted social and economic activities, damaged properties, assaulted and inflicted injuries on other citizens going about their lawful endeavours.” He said.
“While individuals and groups are free to exercise their freedom of expression, they must do so peacefully and strictly within the bounds of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria… No individual or group has the right, whatsoever, to disturb public peace and order, threaten the safety of the public and create fear and an atmosphere of insecurity in the state or any part thereof…The right of any group of persons to agitate for their perceived rights cannot be allowed to infringe on the rights of other Nigerians, especially the people of Rivers State to remain an integral component of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he continued.
Gov. Wike also added that “Any person or group who violates this ban or acts in any manner prejudicial to the interest of peace and security would be arrested and prosecuted.”