Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Police Ask Nyako to Release Ribadu Square for President’s Visit

As the crisis between the presidency and the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako festers, the state government has refused to release the Ribadu Square, the proposed venue to be used to host President Goodluck Jonathan by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), next Tuesday.
However, the state police command has asked the state government to allow the PDP to use the Ribadu Square to host the president.
The police said the directive became imperative following a series of complaints from the state chapter of the PDP to the command that the state government had denied the party the use of the facility.
In a letter sent to Nyako and signed by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Abakasanga, the CP observed that the said venue (Ribadu Square) is a public facility which is meant for both official and private lawful functions of the government and people of the state, provided the conditions for such use are met.
The  letter dated April 22, 2014, also noted that the purposes for which the PDP intends to use the square to carry out its rally and or other lawful party activities.
The police command was of the opinion that the government should have a re-think and rescind its objection to the use of the facility.
The letter read in part, “Your Excellency, you have been known to be a man of peace and not otherwise. Our state is fragile and we must do all it takes to maintain its relative peace.
“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.”
He warned that the steps were necessary so that disgruntled elements would not take advantage of the denial to throw the state into chaos.
The commissioner of police added that while the command can contend with any threat posed by the use of the venue, the force may not be able to cope with the threat that might arise from the refusal for the use of the facility.
THISDAY learnt that the board in charge of leasing the square had tried to be difficult by demanding about N5 million for its use which was seen as an attempt to deny the PDP its use.
Meanwhile, the party in the state yesterday set up seven committees in preparation for the president's visit.
During the visit, Jonathan is billed to receive some All Progressives Congress (APC) defectors like Brig. Mohammed Marwa and Marcus Gundiri, among others.
Addressing members of the committee, the state Chairman of PDP, Chief Joel Madaki, urged them to justify the confidence reposed in them.
Madaki urged party members to cooperate with the committees to ensure the success of the visit.
He also announced that there would be a reception on April 26 for the former national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Meanwhile, a former military Governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), has lashed out at Nyako over the allegation the Adamawa governor made of genocide by the federal government as a result of the security challenges in the North-east.
Umar, in a statement in Kaduna yesterday, described Nyako's pronouncement as inciting, noting that it amounted to asking northerners to rise against the government.
He stressed that Nyako, as a retired military officer, should be aware of the weighty nature of his statement and claim that Jonathan and his administration are responsible for the genocide in the north-east.
"The statement of Governor Murtala Nyako, coming from a retired military officer is shocking and worrisome and I hope people like him should not put the nation on fire and should desist from making wild allegations.
"What is his aim? Does he want northerners to pick up arms against the federal government or what? These are comments that should not come from leaders who want the nation to progress and move forward. Moreso, from a state governor and a retired military officer.
"How can he prove the allegation he made against President Goodluck Jonathan that he is encouraging genocide in the country? Doesn't he realise the implication of this kind of statement? And that the statement can put Nigeria on fire; does it augur well for national stability and unity of the country?" Umar asked.
He urged Nyako and other North-east governors to channel all grievances over the current insecurity in their domain through the appropriate channels rather than embark on anything that would worsen the security problem the country is facing.
He stated further: "I expect Murtala Nyako to attend the next security council meeting of the federal government that Jonathan is calling tomorrow (today) and  raise those issues. But the way he is going about it now, going on air and through the media and raising allegations against government and even talking of government engaging in genocide, I think it is not something that Nyako's calibre should have embarked on. It is very unstatemanlike and it can lead to the destabilisation of the nation".
Umar called on the governors of the North-east to work together with the president so that they can discuss better ways of handling the security challenges, stressing that the war against the insurgency cannot be won by making wild allegations.

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