The Imo State Police Command has said it has cancelled a planned protest march and demonstration on Sunday July 2nd, 2017.
The protest may not be unconnected with the crisis that bedeviled the Ahiara Diocese of the Catholic Church in Mbaise over the appointment of the Diocesan Bishop and the recent visit to Rome by some Catholic leaders.
A statement by the Imo State Police spokesman, DSP Andrew Enwerem, recalled how at the heat of the crisis in 2016, a similar demonstration led to the shooting and injuring of a senior Police officer who escaped death by the whiskers.
“Accordingly, the Commissioner of Police Imo State, CP Chris O. Ezike convened a meeting of the Clergy, Priests, executive of the laity council and other Church elders from both divides of the dispute. The meeting which held today 29th June, 2017 at the State Police Headquarters, Owerri also had in attendance top management of the Imo State Police Command. At the end of the meeting which lasted over three hours, the revelations and passion displayed by the parties informed a decision by the State Police Command to stop the rally/protest in whatever form or guise because it has great potentials of causing a breach of peace and breakdown of law and order.” the statement stated.
It continued “Consequently, the general public is hereby informed that the proposed rally/protest has been cancelled by the State Police Command because of security concerns. Members of the public especially residents of Ahiara Mbaise, Roman Catholic faithful in Ahiara Mbaise Dioceses are advised to go about their lawful business without fear of any molestation as the Command will make strategic development of human and materials assets to guarantee public safety.
The Command advised Parents and guardians to warn their children/ wards to adhere strictly to this directives so as not come in conflict with the law.