It is to be expected, that the moment a sitting government comes up with a new policy, law or programme, those in the opposition will most times kick against it. In doing that, they adopt all kinds of means, including protests, to register their position.
That is what makes them an opposition political party. So, it was not surprising when some key chieftains of the APC opposed the new law establishing the Rivers State neighbourhood security corps. They were merely doing the expected.
But the latest reaction, coming from two of the APC chieftains-a former deputy governorship candidate of the party during the 2015 election, Asita O. Asita and a former commissioner for works, Sampson Ngerebara-appear to have created some tension in the land. Their threat to establish a parallel neighbourhood watch in the state if the police high command did not call the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike to order, is akin to saying a parallel government was in the offing. In plain language, this is anarchy about to be born.
Ngerebara, who is currently the President-General of Free Rivers Initiative, an affiliate group of the APC, was quoted as saying that “the “APC will not sit and watch themselves being killed as it happened in 2015,” called on the Federal government to stop the Neighborhood Watch from coming into operation”. What we are saying is conditional. If the Federal government allows the Neighborhood Watch Law to be enforced, we will protect ourselves and one way of doing that is to have our own Neighborhood Watch. We will pass through due process and we are looking for competent hands who are not even members of APC.
“We are already interviewing former commissioners of Police and a former AIG who we will appoint as DG of our own Neighborhood Watch. We will have no option than to do all these if the Federal government fails to stop the Neighborhood Watch.”
The ruling PDP has already fired back. Its spokesman, Samuel Nwanosike said recently that their plot would be resisted. He dared the opposition to, “gather in the name of any security group anywhere in the state. They will see the will of Rivers people.We hear that APC leaders, Sampson Ngeregbara, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, Chidi Lloyd and Asita Asita met with some 52 Rivers youths in Abuja and said they want to come and form their own Neighborhood Watch without any law backing them. That kind of thing will never happen.”
We agree that the Rivers APC has the right to resist any policy that is not in tandem with the constitution of the land. But in doing that, they ought to adopt constitutional means. Taking the laws into their hands cannot be the best way to fight a law that they consider oppressive.
As much as we support their right to resist oppressive laws, we do not think that forming a parallel government is the best way to go. The courts are there and they should explore that option maximally, instead of thinking of lawlessness as a way of correcting someone they believe has offended the law. Two wrongs cannot make a right.
Our stand is that all those who are opposed to any law or policy of any government at any level should approach the court. Any other approach will only create room for anarchy and that cannot be in the interest of our democracy.