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Rivers: ALGON warns of planned protest, cites risks of anarchy

The Rivers State Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, has alerted security agencies, the state government, and the public to the potential repercussions of an alleged planned protest by former local government chairmen and former members of the state and National Assembly.

In a statement signed by the 23 Local Government Council Caretaker Committee Chairmen, ALGON warned that the protest is a deliberate attempt to incite anarchy and chaos in the state.

Speaking at a press conference in Port Harcourt on Sunday, ALGON Chairman Prince Ichemati Ezebunwo, who also serves as the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Port Harcourt City Council, alleged that the protest aims to destabilise governance and create a pretext for declaring a state of emergency in Rivers State.

Ezebunwo said: “We are drawing the attention of the general public to the planned protest by the immediate past local government chairmen, former House of Assembly members, and National Assembly members loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike, against the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) manning the 23 local government councils across the state.

“The planned protest is not in the interest of the local governments and the state in its entirety. Rather, it is a calculated attempt by enemies of our dear state to paint the people of the state in bad light, unleash mayhem while at it, and use it to further buttress their inordinate call for the declaration of a state of emergency in our dear state.

“We emphatically state that we, members of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter, and our people are in support of the police decision to take control and protect all local government council secretariats until further directive on the matter.”

Ezebunwo clarified that since the new caretaker committee chairmen were sworn in by Governor Siminalayi Fubara, there have been no attempts to forcibly take over or access any of the local government secretariats, adding that this compliance follows the governor’s directive to await the police withdrawal from the secretariats.

He added: “We want to categorically state that we are not in any way linked to the planned protest, as it is inimical to the progress and well-being of the people of the state, considering the sinister plots by some desperate politicians to take advantage under the guise of protest, to cause chaos and destabilise governance in the state.

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