Why We Attacked and Tear-gassed Anti-Okorocha Protesters in Owerri – Police Speaks
AMonpointTV News reported earlier today that a protest, tagged ‘Occupy Owerri’, which was organized by Imo People’s Action for Democracy (IPAD), against the policies of the Governor Okorocha administration which is expected to last for one week, met a brutal stumbling block on Monday.
It has been revealed that the protesters who staged the peaceful protest against the Governor Rochas Okorocha government, and were attacked by operatives of Nigerian Police along Wethral road, Owerri, because they did not get the permission of the police to carry out the march.
The protesters had taken to the streets over the erection of statues in Owerri, the state capital, costing millions of naira, when the state is still owing workers’ salaries and pensions. They are also opposed to the appointment of the governor’s sister as Commissioner for Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment.
According to Premium Times, the police in Imo State, said the reason why its officials dispersed protesters on a peaceful march against Governor Rochas Okorocha’s administration, was because an authorization was not approved.
It was gathered that the group had written to the police and the State Security Service for security during the rally. While the SSS gave approval for the rally to hold, the police asked that the rally be shifted till after the yuletide period, but the group refused, arguing that the police have no right to stop it from protesting.
The spokesperson of the command, Andrew Enwerem, said the protesters did not have the permission to protest. “The duty of Police is to ensure security of lives and property, if they found themselves in friction with Police that is not out of place.”
“Teargas is meant for human beings and not meant for animals. Before you protest you must get permission to March otherwise that will amount to unlawful assembly,” the spokesman said.
In a statement on Monday by the coordinator, Aku Obidinma, the group said its members were attacked by police as they commenced the rally along Wethral Road Owerri.
“We peacefully commenced our protest this morning from Wethral Road Roundabout in Owerri, Imo State, and were accosted by heavily armed policemen who demanded we stop because the commissioner of police did not approve the rally”
“We insisted that we must continue since the law did not say we needed his permission before we could embark on a peaceful protest. As we continued our match, the police descended on us and started beating up the protesters, firing tear gas, confiscated our placards and manhandled even the minors amongst us.”
Continuing the group said, “We wish to inform the world that Imo State has unfortunately become a fascist state where freedom of expression and assembly is no longer guaranteed.”
“We say this because of the ugly incident that happened this morning where the Imo State government used the police to brutally attack peaceful protesters.”
The group said it was disturbed that the police who ought to protect peaceful protesters are the ones now used to attack law abiding citizens
“Today is really a sad day for our democracy. Imo State has been turned into a terror zone. Governor Rochas Okorocha is now a full-blown dictator and he has as his accomplice the Imo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Chris Ezike, who is always ready to do his dirty jobs.”
They vowed that no amount of intimidation will make them drop their agitation for good governance in Imo State.
“We will in no distant time mobilise Imolites for a massive protest that will bring the government to its knees,” the coordinator said.
“We use this medium to call on the police authorities and the Presidency to quickly redeploy the Imo State Police Commissioner out of Imo State as he has lost the confidence of the people of the state,” he added.
File photo AMonpointTV News reported earlier today that a protest, tagged ‘Occupy Owerri’, which was organized by Imo People’s Action for Democracy (IPAD), against the policies of the Governor Okorocha administration which is expected to last for one week, met a brutal stumbling block on Monday. It has been revealed that...firstname.lastname@example.orgAdministratorA blogger #AMonpointTV is my brand and am onpoint #Thank You For ReadingAM onpoint TV | Information & Entertainment Platform