Police warn Nyako over venue of Jonathan’s rally
Following complaints from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that the Adamawa State government refused to allow the use of the Ribadu Square in Yola to host President Goodluck Jonathan next week, police authorities have asked Governor Murtala Nyako to rescind the decision.
In a letter to the governor, Police Commissioner John Abakasang said the Ribadu Square, being a public facility, should be accessible to the public for official and private use.
The letter, dated April 22, a copy made available to journalists, also said PDP intends to use the venue for lawful party activities that do not portend any threat to the people of the state.
Abakasang advised Nyako to reconsider his position and allow all registered political parties access to the public square, saying “our state is fragile and we must do all it takes to maintain its relative peace.”
He said, “Your Excellency, you have been known to be a man of peace and not otherwise, these steps were necessary so that disgruntled elements do not take advantage of the denial to throw the state into chaos.”
“We believe that the refusal to allow some groups of people the use of the venue for lawful activities and granting approval to other groups to use the same venue could pose more tension than making the venue available for use by every group,” the commissioner added.
He said the state police command may not be able to cope with the threats that may arise as a result of government’s refusal to release the venue.
The PDP plans to host President Jonathan at Ribadu Square on April 29, when he is expected to receive retired General Mohammed Buba Marwa and Mr Marcus Gundiri who recently defected to the PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But Nyako’s spokesman Ahmad Sajoh said the Ribadu Square is run by a management committee and so the governor is not directly responsible for granting permission for the use of the facility.
Sajoh accused the PDP of a smear campaign against Nyako and his government to achieve a political point.
He said the state government respects the office of the president and as such will not do anything that could cause confusion during the president’s visit.