The Chairman of Eleme local government area in Rivers State, Oji Ngofa, on Monday alleged that a Police Area Command was 400 meters away from the venue of the Save Rivers Movement (SRM)rally which was marred by violence on Sunday, wondering why officers of the Force did not come to the rescue.
“The venue of the rally was not up to 400 meters from the Bori Area Command but police didn’t do anything and the hoodlums (from wherever they came from) started shooting, chasing people away, damaging property and all that,” he said.
Ngofa whose LG is near to Khana Local Government, where the attack occurred, disclosed that problem started at about 4 AM on Sunday morning when the hoodlums started shooting and then returned when organisers of the rally started setting up.
“There was no way they would say that they didn’t hear the gunshots,” Ngofa said, adding that efforts of the SRM to secure police assistance yielded nothing.
However, the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu told Channels Television via a telephone interview that the group did not invite the Police and also did not request security presence for the rally.
In response, Mr Ngofa said “that is not true” because the same letter written to the Police, seeking security, last week covered two events including Sunday’s rally.
On allegations that the group was trying to stage campaign rallies, Ngofa said the mission of the Movement was to “promote good governance.”
Although the identity of the attackers remains unknown, Ngofa said residents of Khana local government would be able to point out the perpetrators.
Contrary to claims by the State Police Commissioner, Mbu, Mr Ngofa disclosed that the group had made attempts at informing the police of the event beforehand. He added that the lawyer of the group, Ken Asuette went to the Police command on Friday to remind the Force of the rally which was to hold on Sunday.
He further stated that the refusal of the Police to do its job indicates that they are lying and playing games.
“It is a gang up to bring a reign of terror on Rivers people.”