Yesterday, April 19th, 2014, there were rumours of a proposed rally billed to take place at the Community Secondary School Opolo Epie in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The organizers of the rally, who are faceless had gone to take Police Permit for the purpose. The said rally was botched because of the following reasons:

1. Prior to the day of the rally, the Police and other security agencies uncovered sundry security challenges to which the Police had initially not averted their minds to. Such challenges include but not limited to crowd control, security of the persons to be involved in the rally, the real essence of the rally in a State as peaceful as Bayelsa State and the Principal characters involved in the said rally.

2. Bayelsa State, being the home State of the President is very critical in the political arithmetic of the nation. This explains why there is a huge synergy between the State and the Federal Government. Security infirmation gathered prior to the said rally showed that the sponsors were either bent on undermining the existing synergy or to cause instability to create a climate of fear, mayhem and chaos. Recognizing the fact that the State has invested massively in peace and security to create a veritable platform to attract Foreign Direct Investment and the flourishing of tourism, the State Government can ill-afford to allow people to sponsor chaos, especially now that terror is spreading in Nigeria. NEVER!

3. What is perhaps most worrisome is that those who obtained the police permit used pseudo-names and this is not congruent with conventional practice. Most suspicious is the fact that neither the principal officials of the State Government nor the PDP were aware of the rally. The scenario therefore was that the real sponsors of the purported rally were hiding under the smokescreen of some ubiquitous groups. No responsible Government willl allow some faceless persons to hold a rally in a public place without identifying the principal actors. The question is if the rally turns violent who will the State Government and the Police hold responsible?

4. Even the venue of the purported rally -the Community Secondary School Opolo-Epie is a public educational facility, which needs to be protected given the premium the Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration places on human capital development. Besides, so many people were at a loss for the choice of that venue -not-too-far away from a market facility, for such a rally. Credible NGOs and CBOs exist in Bayelsa State but none if them was aware to the best of our knowledge.

5. The State Government has made over 10,000 youths to renounce cultism and about a month ago the State volunteers was constituted, Security information further pointed to the fact that the rally was targeted at recruiting some miscreants from neighburing States to cause a breach of the peace in the State, and this was a well orchestrated design to undermine the existing peace and security in the State.

Freedom is not a luxury, but we can only savour our basic freedoms under a peaceful and secure atmosphere. Without security we can neither have fundamental rights nor prosperity and social justice which are accompaniments of security. This underpins the saying that “security is the first law of nature”. It was John Locke who said ” Government has no other end, but the preservation of property”. This assertion, by extention means protection if human lives, private property, public infrastructure and investments.

Those who wish to hold public rallies in Bayelsa State should not be hiding if their intentions are genuine. At this critical time the State is on the fast lane of development, Bayelsa State cannot be used as a testing ground for illegality, chaos and wanton confusion as thus will undermine the State. Here in the State, the people rule and we build no chinese walls between government and the people.

Idumange John
SSA to the Governor of Bayelsa State
On Research & Social Media


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