Of Tony John, Port Harcourt
the The campaign organization of Rivers State All Progressive Congressional (APC) gubernatorial candidate Tonye Cole has frowned on Executive Order 21, recently signed into law by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Executive Order 21 prohibits the use of public schools for rallies without permission of the Commissioner of Education.
Governor Rivers said signing Order 21 into law was part of the government’s responsibility to protect and secure public school infrastructure from damage or destruction.
He said public venue premises or facilities could be used for political rallies, only when the education commissioner has approved the application, which would be no less than two weeks before the date of the rally on payment of a non-refundable security fee of N5 million. .
In reaction, APC said it was an ill-fated attempt by the ruling government to stifle political space for opposition political parties in the state.
spokesman for Tonye Cole’s campaign organization, Sogbeye Eli, described the Order as notorious and said it would be difficult for opposition parties to gain approval from Governor Wike’s appointees.
Eli also slammed the House of State Assembly over the recent repeal of Celestine Omehia’s recognition as the state’s former governor. She said that no Governor of Rivers should run the state as a personal property, and added that punishing Omehia for supporting Atiku Abubakar’s 2023 presidential bid was politics taken to unprecedented levels of absurdity.