Published On: Thu, Nov 7th, 2013

Police Ban Political Ceremonies At Airports

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The Nigeria Police, has announced a ban on all political, socio-cultural or religious gatherings within and around airport premises,  including tarmacs, lounges and other sensitive security points.

Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar who announced the ban yesterday, said it was in line with international best practices, in order to safeguard the airports and their critical infrastructure as well as to prevent a situation where airports are turned into places of political assemblies, religious worship and other social receptions.

The ban came on the heels of accusation by Rivers Governor Rotimi Amaechi who on Tuesday accused the Police of preventing his supporters from gathering at the Port Harcourt International Airport when he hosted opposition governors in the state.

The IGP in a statement from the Force Headquarters said: “As part of deliberate efforts towards averting any security breach and the need to protect critical infrastructure, travellers, aircrew, airport staff and personnel at the nation’s local and international airports, the Nigeria Police High Command has placed a total ban on political, socio-cultural or religious gatherings within and around airport premises, including tarmacs, lounges and other sensitive security points”.

He argued that there are enough civic centres, town halls, and assembly halls for public meetings, carnivals and celebrations of all kinds.

In line with the directive, the Force Headquarters, Abuja, directed the Airport Command Commissioners of Police, and Commissioners of Police in states hosting the airports to ensure that, in line with international best practices, firm security measures are taken to safeguard the airports and their critical infrastructure.

“They are also to prevent a situation where the airports are turned into places of political assemblies, religious worship and other social receptions, as there are enough civic centres, town halls, assembly halls etc for public meetings, carnivals and celebrations of all kinds”.

He said the police was aware of the constitutional rights of Nigerians to freedom of movement and assembly, stressing that the enjoyment of these rights must be situated within the bounds of the law and appropriate civil behaviour.

“The Force, therefore, implores Nigerians to co-operate with the Police in the effort aimed at improving the maintenance of effective safety and security at all the nooks and crannies of the airports.”

He called on the Nigerian elite, political and opinion leaders to assist the Police in the education and enlightenment of their fans, admirers, supporters and followers on the need to abide by these rules, as failure to comply will attract appropriate legal sanctions.

 

 

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