The Rivers State Police Command at the weekend approved police protection for the pro-Amaechi political rally of the Save Rivers Movement, SRM, to hold on Saturday in Bori-Ogoni.
The Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu gave the SRM the approval to hold the rally after the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr Tony Okocha made a formal application on behalf of SRM and made an under-taking that the Amaechi supporters will be peaceful.
Also yesterday, a group of Ogoni elders, under the aegis of “Concerned Ogoni Elders’ Forum” asked Amaechi to reconsider the proposed rally in the interest of peace and tranquillity.
The elders, made up of the leader of Ogoni PDP members/ former chairman of Gokana LGA Fred Kpakol and some other PDP stalwarts, in a communiqué at the end of a meeting warned against any rally by any political group without police permit across the four LGAs that make up Ogoni (Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme).
The Chief of Staff at Government House , Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha, confirmed yesterday that the rally would be peaceful as the police had agreed to ensure maximum security.
After applying and receiving approval to hold the rally, the Chief of Staff to Amaechi heaped insults on the Rivers State Police Commissioner.
According to him: “ He is a politician. We informed the Rivers Commissioner of Police, through the SRM’s lawyer, Barr. Ken Atsuwete, of the January 12 and 19 rallies, for police protection, which could not be provided”.
The Ogoni leaders accused the state government and other politicians of using Ogoni as demonstration field for political violence, and vowed to resist any move by any group or government to contravene the order.