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Rivers crisis: Rights groups slate protest rally for Tuesday in Port Harcourt

By JIMITOTA ONOYUME

PORT HARCOURT — Messrs OLISA Agbakoba, SAN; Femi Falana, SAN; and Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin are among other activists in the country that will attend a peaceful protest in defence of democracy in Port Harcourt, Rivers State  next Tuesday.

Flanked by other members of his group, Chairman, Niger Delta Civil Society Coalition, Mr. Anyakwe Nsirmovu, said that the rally was about saving the country’s democracy from collapse.

Nsirimovu in Port Harcourt, yesterday,  said that  the body agreed on the rally  tagged One Day of Global Action in Defence of Democracy  because of the alleged gradual attempt to replace democratic traditions with abuse of rule of law by those he said were desperately seeking political power.

Lamenting the recent fracas on the floor of the state House of Assembly, Nsirimovu also decried what he termed the inaction of the Police in the face of alleged insecurity of lives and property in the state.

The group said activists from all parts of the country will gather in Port Harcourt on Tuesday to protest the near collapse of rule of law and democratic traditions in the state.

“We have asked the leadership of the human rights community throughout the country to join us and address the peaceful day of action. To attend are Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Femi Falana, SAN; Emma Ezeazu of Alliance for Democracy; Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman,  National  Human Rights Commission; Festus Okoye, Human Rights Monitor, Kaduna; Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Campaign for Democracy; Innocent Chukwuma, CLEEN Foundation; and a host of others.

“We will embark on a One Day of Global Action in Defence of Democracy rally in Rivers State. It is a day of action against impunity and tolerance of the same by a political party that had been unable to organise itself and govern most responsibly in the last 14 years of the transition. It is a day of action and a wakeup call on all Rivers citizens to wake up to their responsibilities of taking their rights and freedoms seriously, by raising their voices for peace, democratic principles of dialogue, persuasion, rather than gangsterism as acceptable means. It is a day of action against politically instigated violence against the people. It is a day of action against a political Police Commissioner, who must leave, so that the state may be secured. It is a civil society super Tuesday of action for the deepening of democracy in Rivers State.”


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