Wike’s ban of campaigns in public schools hypocritical- APC leader

Kingsley Wenenda Weli

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

A Chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Rivers State Kingsley Wenenda Weli, a lawyer, has asserted that Governor Nyesom Wike has no power to ban Political Campaigns in public places an injustice he fought against in 2015 and won to become Governor.

Weli recalled that when the former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi tried to stop Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from using the Adokiye Amasiemeka stadium (then still under construction) for campaigns, he rejected it as an illegality. He, assisted by federal forces led by the Commissioner of Police, CP Mbu Joseph Mbu, broke all the barriers to the stadium and had political campaign there with President Goodluck Jonathan in attendance.

He said Wike now as Governor and a life Bencher in Nigerian Judiciary cannot now enforce what he fought against in 2015.

” Governor Wike cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time.
Wike had his way because he had cashed on the fact the stadium was built by the public funds had Commissioner of Police, CP Mbu Joseph Mbu who provided security cover. So if the Police provides security,the Governor will have no powers to stop the use of any public facilities”.

Weli who is also a popular political activist known for speaking truth to power cautioned politicians who have vowed to go physical in challenging Governor Wike’s Executive Order 21 that bans on political campaigns in public places like schools without permission to explore the due process of law.

Governor Wike had, through the signing of the controversial Executive Order 21 also imposed the payment of N5million as caution fee. This has generated uneasy calm and condemnations from the opposition.

Weli also said opposition political parties are right in their assumption that the restrictions imposed by the Governor at a time the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC directed politicking to start across the country was to emasculate them to give undue advantage to candidates of his party,PDP.

The Legal practitioner made the assertion while speaking on wide range of issues affecting politics and political campaigns in Rivers State during a chat with a cross section of Journalists in Port Harcourt.
He said “As long as Public schools belong to the public,all the Politicians and political parties need to do is to make an application to Commissioner of Police requesting the use of any public schools and provide security”.
Weli said statutorily,the Commissioner of Police in the state is supposed to grant permissions and provide the needed security.And once that permission was sought and granted the opposition political parties have legal right to go ahead with their campaigns.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has never placed ban on use of the Federal Highways because it was built by the federal government”.
APC Chieftain advised Politicians to always take the pains to explore the options of provided by the rule of Law by testing laws in Courts of competent jurisdiction.
He pointed that the Commissioner of Police,who is the Chief law Enforcement Officer in state is supposed to grant permissions and provide the needed security after interfacing with Principal, Headmaster or Headmistress of any school so selected.

Weli also insisted that when the democratic processes fail, then the opposition political parties can then challenge the ban and Order 21 in Court.