By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Kwara state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the ban placed on street rallies and procession in Kwara state by the state government as a welcome development.
The ban, it said, was aimed at ensuring security of lives and property of the innocent residents and as well to maintain peace and order in every part of the state.
The party in a statement by its state publicity secretary, Tunde Ashaolu said the state government and state security council’s decision on street rallies and processions by political parties was necessary and timely.
Condemning the stance of the factional governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, on the development, the PDP said Abdulrazaq “is crying wolf on the ban placed on political street rallies where there is none. The move was a necessary and timely one.”
The party maintained that there was nothing undemocratic in the decision of the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed to ban political street rallies and processions, as it was intended to check the escalation of violence in the state.
It hailed the decision of the governor and said it was not targeted at frustrating the campaigns of any political party or candidate as alleged by the factional APC governorship candidate, but to uphold the security of the State.
The party said: “Every discerning individual will know that the ban was clearly informed by the recent violent attacks arising from political rallies in some parts of the state, with our members and supporters suffering the most casualties. It was certainly not aimed at frustrating any political party or candidate. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq should therefore, stop crying wolf where there is none.
“We strongly believe that the move was to prevent thugs and undesirable elements from hijacking any political rally or procession to wreak havoc and inflict injuries on innocent people as we have witnessed in recent days.
“While the state government acknowledges the right of political parties and candidates to hold political rallies, it also has a duty to protect lives and property of people of the state.
“In the interest of collective peace of the state, there is no sacrifice too great to ensure security and prevent a possible breakdown of law and order that could lead to unnecessary destruction of property and loss of lives.
“We believe that everything possible must be done by the various political parties and relevant stakeholders to prevent violence and unnecessary loss of lives and property before, during and after the elections. We cannot afford to turn Kwara to a hub of violence and hooliganism because of politics. We must have a state after elections.
“This is why we support every move aimed at ensuring the peace and well-being of our state. Unlike the other party, our campaigns have been conducted in a robust, peaceful and orderly manner and we shall continue to do so as we prepare for the elections.”