Anambra Police Cautions Against Unlawful Demonstration

By Emeka Ozumba

To forestall what it believes is a possibility of hijacking genuine demonstration by unscrupulous elements and throw the State into anarchy, Anambra State police command has cautioned against unlawful assembly by members of the public, citing the recent demonstration at Onitsha over ownership of a primary school at Oyolu – Oze, Nkwelle-Ezunaka in Oyi Local Government Area of the State.

Reacting to the demonstration by members of the Ebenezer Anglican Church, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, the State Police Commissioner of Police, Usman Gwary said the warning became necessary to avoid breakdown of law and order.

Gwary who briefed newsmen in his office yesterday appreciated the rights of people to register their protest when aggrieved, but observed that there is need to follow laid down procedure that will not threaten public peace as the police have the responsible to protect violation of other people's rights.

He noted that governor Obiano has taken proactive measures on the demolition of the church building by unknown persons by visiting the scene promptly and setting up an investigation panel to look into the circumstances surrounding the demolition with the State Deputy Governor as the Chairman.

Mr. Gwary advised them to channel their grievances to the six-man Panel set up by the State government to investigate contending issues, which he added has two weeks within which to submit its report on its findings for appropriate consideration.

He explained that while the police decided not to confront them during their earlier demonstration at Onitsha, the Command, he said will not allow them to take the laws into their hands again and infringe on the right of those who use the highway and other roads in the State.

Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Tony Onyima in a release pointed out that the Chief Obiano administration as a democratic and law abiding government, upholds the right of peaceful protests by citizens.

He, however, stressed, that such protests must be within the ambit of the law.

He added that the government is committed to promotion of justice, peace and fair-play and called on all citizens to remain calm and law abiding.