Insecurity: Gov. Alia Bans All Inter, Intra Political Gatherings

by Ohepo Ohepo

Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia
All political meetings and events, whether they be intra-party, inter-party, or group-related, are prohibited by the Benue State government until further notice.

Paul Biam stated that the prohibition became necessary “following intelligence on the volatility of the security atmosphere in parts of the state” in a letter that was leaked and delivered to the governor by the chief of staff.

The Government justified the prohibition in the widely disseminated letter by pointing to the unstable security environment. “Intelligence regarding the instability of the security environment in the state has made this necessary.

You are undoubtedly aware of the tense security situation in the state as a result of the extraordinary influx of armed herders.

[b] “You are invited to enforce this directive by virtue of this notification.” The declaration came to an end.

The ban reportedly occurred at the same time that the All Progressives Congress, or APC, in the state, chaired by Austin Agada, planned a meeting to discuss President Bola Tinubu’s appointment of Mathias Byuan as the Executive Director of Finance and Accounts of the National Housing Authority, or NHA, on Friday, March 1.

In the meantime, the police have once more barricaded the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) Benue State Secretariat in Makurdi, the state capital.

Additionally, the Austin Agada-led executives were prevented by the Force from holding their planned political gathering on Friday, March 1, and Sunday, March 3, 2024.

The APC executives summoned a meeting in Makurdi with a few key players and Matthias Byuan, the recently appointed Executive Director of the Federal Housing Authority.

Nevertheless, the State Police Command recommended that the meetings be canceled in a letter to Agada, signed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP, Samuel Gimba on behalf of the Commissioner of Police.

The Command cited a previous correspondence it obtained from Governor Hyacinth Alia, which prohibited any kind of political assembly or meeting within the state.

Due to the unstable security situation in the state, the governor, through his Chief of Staff, Paul Biam, prohibited all political meetings and gatherings in the state in a letter dated February 27, 2024.

In response to Governor Alia’s request, the Police wrote Agada a letter advising him to halt the aforementioned meetings.

The correspondence stated: “I am referring to your February 7, 2024 letter informing my office of your plan to convene the APC’s State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting and stakeholders meeting on March 1 and 3, 2024, respectively.

“However, in light of the directive from the Executive Governor of Benue State suspending the holding of all forms of political meetings and gatherings in the State due to the volatility of the security atmosphere in the State, I wish to request that you suspend the said meetings and all other forms of political meetings until further notice.”

Based on the correspondence, the police closed off the APC State Secretariat on J.S. Tarka Road in Makurdi on Friday morning as early as 6 a.m., placing stern-looking police officers in charge of the routes leading to the Secretariat.

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