The Niger State Police Command has on Thursday turned down a request by the Peoples Democratic Party seeking permission to hold its zonal rally in the state, citing security reasons.
According to the PDP, the Police turned down its request for Saturday’s rally at Paiko, the headquarters of Paikoro Local Government Area of the state because the All Progressives Congress is having another rally the same day in Minna, a different Local Government Area.
The PDP Vice chairman in Zone B, Adamu Jibrin, told newsmen: “The police turned down the request by the party on the ground that the ruling APC had already applied to hold its unity rally the same day in Minna.
“Our party’s rally is slated for Paiko in Paikoro Local Government Area, while that of APC is slated for Minna, the state capital, and the police told us that they do not have enough personnel to provide security for the two rallies at the same time.”
The police, it was gathered, cited security reason for its action, expressing fear of the possibility of the two supporters who are expected to come from different parts of the state for the rallies, crossing each other.
According to the Vice Chairman: “We wrote to the police on the 5th of this month, asking for their permission to enable us hold our rally on Saturday the 17th of this month at Paiko, but we only got their reply just this Monday, telling us that APC had already applied for the same date.
“The police told us that they don’t have enough personnel to provide security for the two rallies on the same day.
“Thy asked us to put on hold our rally till further notice.
“The police said even if they have enough personnel for the two rallies, there is the possibility of the two supports crossing each, which might result to violence.”
It should be recalled that the PDP had earlier held its rallies in Zones A and C of the state where over 15,000 strong members of the APC decamped to the PDP party in the state.
Confirming the stoppage, the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Muhammad Abubakar, said the decision was based on a first come, first serve.
Abubakar said: “The APC contacted us first seeking for permission before the PDP and we have told them that it is first come, first serve.
“We don’t want anything that will lead to clash by both parties.”