Joseph Mukan, Rivers State Police Commissioner

Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt

Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph G. Mukan, has warned the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB or other groups planning to hold protest or rally during the October 1, Nigeria 60th Independence anniversary to desist.

Mukan gave the warning in the good will message he issued in response to announcement of plan to hold “RevolutionNow” protest in Port Harcourt by the Rivers Civil Society Organizations, RIVCSO on the Independence Day.

RIVSCO said it wants to hold the protest to make up for the suspended rally of the labour unions against hike in fuel price and electricity tariff.

The group, in a statement by signed by Comrade Solomon Lenu,  its spokesman, said its members have decided to lend their voices to condemn the five per cent in leadership positions, who have held the 95 per cent of Nigerians hostage due to bad governance and economic strangulation.

According to RIVCSO, “we cannot fold our arms and do nothing in the face of stinking corruption that has bedeviled our country to a level that is now excruciating, as not only our generations, but even those after ours will bear the brunt of such inaction.

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“So, we have decided to join forces with Nigerians who are suffering the hike in the petroleum pump price, and those agonizing from the pain of increased electricity tariffs even with epileptic power situation that has hampered our industrial growth for uncountable decades with no end in sight, to say enough is enough.

“We have decided to resist because any further silence will make us complicit in the annihilating malfeasance that has held us all down, and made the country a suckling baby in the League of Nations who goes cap in hand from country to country, begging for loans sixty years after independence amidst stupendously mismanaged wealth.

“RIVCSO will tomorrow, October 1, march in solidarity with those who are crying in our same language, and we call on all well-meaning Nigeria residents in Rivers state to come out. Let’s make a bold statement that will echo beyond the shores of this already suffocating nation, because the new day we all dream of will never come by mere wishful thinking but by civil struggle because none has ever achieved any change without a fire.

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However, alluding to warning by the Police against any form of protest, RIVCSO, said those who may want to truncate the redemption movement tomorrow should know that, peaceful protests and processions are civil rights of every citizen, and it’s also backed by the highest law of our land and those beyond the land, as it is a fundamental human right in the United Nations charter.

“Come tomorrow October 1st, we once again invite every member of the public to come all out let’s show our resentment for this near failed state call Nigeria by joining the Revolution Now protest at Isaac Boro park by 9am”

But the CP Mukan assured the people of the State that there is no cause for alarm as adequate security deployments have been made to ensure that the Diamond Independence Anniversary celebrations are carried out in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility, while warning those he described as trouble makers and all criminal elements to have a rethink or face the full weight of the law.

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He, therefore, warned that anybody or group under whatever guise, planning to stage a protest, or issuing unlawful order of sit-at- home should immediately shelve the idea, as no effort will be spared in dealing with them.

According to the CP, adequate security arrangements covering all coastal communities, border communities, city centres, flash points, key and vulnerable points have been deployed while patrol vans have been deployed to strategic locations within the metropolis to strengthen visibility policing among others.

CP Mukan enjoined the people of the State to come out and celebrate Nigeria at 60, without fear of molestation, while observing all COVID-19 prevention protocols.