The police command in Kogi state on Wednesday announced an indefinite statewide ban on rallies, public processions and demonstrations.
The Commissioner of Police (CP), Wilson Inalegwu, said this in Lokoja during a meeting with area commanders, divisional police officers and senior police personnel.
He said unknown gunmen attacked people at a rally being addressed by Sen. Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) in Lokoja on June 12 and the current tense security situation in the state informed the decision.
Inalegwu added that the decision was approved during an emergency meeting of the state security council held on June 13 and would remain in force until the situation improved.
He said no public rally, procession or demonstration would be allowed in the state again without a comprehensive threat assessment report from the area commanders and divisional police officers and final approval from him.
The commissioner described the invasion of the rally being addressed by Melaye as unfortunate, sad and avoidable, reiterating, however, that the senator did not obtain permission before holding the rally.
He directed his officers to start arresting motorists engaging in illegal use of siren on highways in the state as from June 22.
He said vehicles with covered numbers plates and illegible number plates should also be impounded and their drivers arrested.
The police commissioner said that a task force that would implement the decision had been set up.
He, however, added that the state governor, his deputy, ambulances, emergency response vehicles and the Central Bank of Nigeria bullion vans are exempted from the ban.
He directed police area commanders and divisional police officers to formally inform local government chairmen, commissioners, traditional rulers and others in writing, about the ban on siren usage.
He said “no abuses will be tolerated; it is strictly for crime control and not any other motive.”
The police boss described the situation in the state as calm, saying that the rate of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes had reduced.
He stressed the need for the police to be ahead of hoodlums always and urged officers to constantly raid criminals’ hideouts based on intelligence and in line with best practices and respect for human rights.