Friday’s mega rally by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to welcome Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defectors in Edo State will no longer hold, the Police said on Thursday.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar directed that the rally be suspended indefinitely for security reasons.
The directive followed the shutting of all schools by the state government and protests by APC youths against the rally.
The rally suspension is until further notice, the IGP said.
In a memo addressed to the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, Mohammed directed the Edo State Commissioner of Police to put apparatuses in place to ensure the rally does not hold.
The memo, a copy of which was made available to journalists during a briefing by Shaibu, also directed the Commissioner of Police to schedule a meeting with parties in the APC crisis to inform them of the order suspending the rally.
The memo, with reference number CB: 2002/IGP.SECPABJ/VOL.172/446 and dated December 12, 2019, was in response to a request made by the Edo State government to the IGP, demanding for the suspension of the rally over security fears.
The memo, signed by ACP Idowu Owohunwa reads: “I am directed by the Inspector General of Police to convey his warmest regards and to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s letter ODG.134/59 of December 12, 2019 on the above-underlined subject.
“In cognisance of the security consequences of the proposed mega rally, I am to confirm that the Inspector-General of Police has directed the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, to emplace appropriate security framework that is directed at suspending the rally until further notice.
“He has also been directed to summon a meeting of all parties involved in the political development to engage them towards giving effect to his directives in overriding internal security interest.
“I am to renew the assurances of the highest regards of the Inspector General of Police to Your Excellency, please.”
Asked to react to the IGP’s permission granted to the APC Edo State to hold its mega rally, Shaibu said he needed to acting, being the Acting Governor.
Governor Godwin Obaseki travelled abroad on an official assignment.
The Deputy Governor said: “I had to write as the chief security officer of the state to let him (the IGP) know the situation in Edo State and to inform him.
“In line with the party constitution, the governor is the leader of the party. And if the party that he leads wants to do a rally in his state and he has not authorised it and he is not aware, such rally cannot take place.
“Also, I informed him that the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is suspended from the state APC, does not have the locus to preside even on issue that concerns APC as we speak.
“The IGP has responded to me that based on security situation that I have highlighted, he has directed the Commissioner of Police to put all security in place to suspend that planned rally.”