Allegedly Shot Abe Flown To London As Police Stops Ogonis Protest Over Abe
Wike Behind Crisis, Alleges Amaechi’s Chief Of Staff
The lingering political crisis in Rivers State that worsened on Sunday where Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, representing Rivers East Senatorial District was allegedly shot by the police, has not just thrown the state into panic, as nobody knows the likely reaction of the feuding parties, what is very clear, however, is the lies and half truths being peddled by parties involved.
Crisis erupted at a rally organized by the Save Rivers Movement (SRM), an NGO that supports Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in Obio/Akpor local government area, the epicenter of the almost year-long crisis bedeviling the state.
Dozens of policemen had stormed the venue of the rally, on the grounds that the organizers dumped the empowerment programme they told the police the event was about, and turned it to a politicall rally, which was attended by Senator Magnus Abe, Tony Okocha, the Chief of Staff to Amaechi, and some other prominent politicians in the camp of Amaechi.
Abe was allegedly shot by the police, and was rushed to Kelsey Harrison Hospital in Port Harcourt, where he was later flown to London for treatment.
That was equally the report from the camp of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi concerning the Governor’s Chief of Staff Tony Okocha.
According to Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the alleged shooting was carried out by a team of regular police and Mobile policemen from MOPOL 19 on the orders of Police Commissioner, CP Mbu.
He said: “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.”
According to the interim chairman of the All Peoples Congress (APC), Dr. Davies Ikanya five children were killed during the incident while they were returning from church. He said the party was looking for ways to get in touch with their parents. Other sources say that only two kids that were trapped when the police were firing the tear gas were killed.
The police are yet to confirm if anybody was killed. But the Rivers State police command, through its PPRO Ahmad Mohammed, has said that Abe was not shot at the venue, noting that Abe and Okocha drove put of the venue in the same vehicle. “We didn’t fire a single shot at anybody,” Ahmad told reporters. Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, (DSP), said: “I can confirm to you that Sen. Magnus Abe was not shot. The Police did not expend any single bullet while dispersing the crowd.
“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 Chief of Staff, in an interview he granted reporters shortly after the incident, said the police fired at Abe when he was even trying to make contacts with the IG.
“Senator Magnus Abe was shot in the chest with this their rubber bullet thing. My own was teargas shells. If they were doing the right thing they wouldn’t be shooting teargas and be picking the shells, so they knew they were doing the wrong thing. They brought in seven Armoured Personnel Carriers inside the College of Arts and Sciences to kill common criminals? Are we criminals? These are defenceless citizens of Rivers state and Nigeria we have our rights and we are not aware of any court order that has taken these rights away or restricted us from gathering.
“At about few minutes past 12 I received a call from somebody, highly placed, informing me that the Commissioner of Police had been reached by the Supervision Minister for Education and that he had accepted huge sums of money to dislodge our people today and I couldn’t place it. About 4:30am, our men on ground, who were left there to secure the gadgets and facilities we have on ground there, called me to say that the police had taken the place over. For God’s sakes we are defenceless, free citizens of Nigeria, we don’t carry arms.
“Save Rivers Movement is an organisation that insists that Rivers state must be saved, out to salvage the state from political buccaneers who want to put Rivers state into their pockets, that’s what we are doing; we are in the business of sensitizing our people from LGA to LGA. You are aware of a group called GDI, they go through all the LGAs with convoys of police, giving them all kinds of protection, including the commissioner of police, he’s always in the convoys, providing security for them and ensuring that what they do in the LGAs are trouble-free.”
According to eyewitnesses, while they saw the police fire tear gas canisters at the Chief of Staff, which was kicked back to the police by Amaechi supporters in the company of the Chief of Staff, they didn’t see when Abe was allegedly shot by the police.