Police Denies Charges
The political crisis in River State took a new turn on Sunday as a Senator representing Rivers South East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Sen. Magnus Abe was hit rubber bullets allegedly fired by the police, but Police has denied the charges.
Abe who is a staunch supporter of Rivers Governor Chubuike Amaechi was wounded alongside the governor’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Tony Okocha at a rally in Port Harcourt.
A release by Mr. Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to the Interim State Chairman, APC Rivers State, alleged that five children were killed by bullet at the rally.
Chukwuemeka Eze, alleged that the shooting was carried out by a team of regular police and Mobile policemen from MOPOL 19 on the orders of the controversial Police Commissioner, CP Mbu.
The statement read: “Acting on CP Mbu’s orders, the trigger-happy policemen had stormed the APC rally organised by the Save Rivers Movement at the College of Arts and Science, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, and started shooting rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse the crowd.
“One of the rubber bullets hit Senator Abe, who fell to the ground and would have died instantly if his aides had not quickly grabbed him and rushed him to a hospital in D/Line in Port Harcourt. It is reported that the case of the Senator is very critical and arrangement is being made by Governor Amaechi to fly him out for medical attention if he recovers from coma.
“Chief Okocha’s case is a bit better as he was only shot on his legs and may be crippled for life if urgent attention is not given to him.
The Police have however denied the allegations.
Police spokesman, Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, (DSP), refuted claims that Senator Abe was shot.
“I can confirm to you that Sen. Magnus Abe was not shot. The Police did not expend any single bullet while dispersing the crowd,” Muhammad said.
According to the police, “It is not true. The police did not shoot the senator, we only used minimum force to disperse the crowd at the venue of the rally.
However, the Rivers State Commissioner for information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, said the bullet was actually meant to kill the State Governor, Rt Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.
Mrs Semenitari in a statement on Sunday said, “The Rivers State government has it on good authority that Senator Abe took the bullet originally meant for Governor Chibuike Amaechi who was billed to be present at the event.”
“This is disconcerting especially in the light of recent revelations that the presidency may be training snipers ahead of the 2015 elections and that Governor Amaechi is top on the list of those to be eliminated.”
“The Rivers State Government wishes to request the Federal Government and its agencies to respect the rules of democratic engagement in their misguided fight against the people of Rivers State and especially save our nation from the unnecessary chaos into which federal agents like Mbu want to plunge it ahead of the 2015 elections.”
She condemned the disruption of the Save Rivers Movement rally especially since the disruption is selective seeing that the police do not only allow members of the PDP Grass root Democratic Initiative (GDI) to hold rallies but indeed provides them with protection.
Mrs Semenitari urged the President Goodluck Jonathan to call the police to order, stressing that the buck stops on the president’s stable as the commander in chief, asking him to restore the hope of the Rivers people that they have not been marked as emnemies and lambs for slaughter in their own country.”
She also called on the Inspector General of Police, the Chairman Police Service commission, the Chairman Nigeria Human Rights Commission, to call Mr. Mbu to order and bring an end to this impunity in Rivers State.”