Minna - The police on Thursday prevented the All Progressive Congress faithful who were in Minna to rally support for David Umaru, the Niger East Senatorial candidate for Saturday Bye-Elections.
Members of the APC were locked out of the Minna Polo ground, venue of the APC rally by members of the police force who were fully armed with over ten Hilux vans on ground.
Spokesman for the Niger state APC, Comrade Jonathan Vatsa, said the APC had applied to use the venue on the 24th but were denied because PDP choose the same time.
“We sought approval from the police to hold our rally, each time we apply they will tell us PDP is having their rally the same time, day and venue. That is exactly what is happening today again.
“They told us they can not grant us the approval and you know the electoral law which states that parties should stop campaigning within 24 hours to the election and today is the only day we have and they still denied us.
“Anybody, anywhere who is denying us of not having our rally is infringing on our fundamental human rights and tampering with our citizenship.
They are not being fair to us, they are afraid of us since our candidate emerged. PDP has been having sleepless night.”
One of the Party members, General Mohammed Garba (Rtd), who happened to be at the venue of the rally, confronted the Police by asking them who barred APC members from right to associate.
“It is our right to associate, you (the Police) are trying to deny us our right.
“How can you deprive us of doing rally and allow the other party to do theirs? it is our right to exercise our right, our people are at the APC secretariat and after which they are coming here but you have deprived us.”
The police officers who refused to speak to journalists claimed they are only avoiding a clash between the PDP and APC and not to deprive any party.
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The Police Public Relations Officer ,Ibrahim Gambari DSP, however said the officers on ground were at the venue to provide security and not to bar anybody or party or harass anyone.
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