FRSC Confirms Four Dead,Analyses Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Situation

Lagos-Ibadan expressway, gridlock, Tanker accident,One more person has been confirmed dead, by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi, bringing the death toll of the Lagos-Ibadan express way accident, to Four.

He also made the confirmation that five, not four vehicles as against Wednesday’s report, were involved, while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

Mr Oyeyemi, explaining the situation that led up to the recent road congestion, said:

“The Lagos Ibadan expressway has the highest traffic density in the country, of about 25,000 vehicles per hour.”

Hence, the need for the ongoing road construction, aimed at expanding the roads from two-way lanes to three.

He explained that “when this kind of construction is on-going, there is bound to be such chaotic situation, however, even before the construction started, there have been series of traffic alerts by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)”.

After rescue efforts were completed, on Wednesday, the aftermath of the accident was the gridlock which commuters still have to suffer a day or more after.

The FRSC Boss, explaining further said:

“All those tankers, trailers that were packed because of the gridlock yesterday, started moving, and because the inbound lane had been shut down for repairs, leaving only one lane, there is bound to be a band-wagon effect.

“When those tankers are moving, there’s no way for any other vehicle to attempt to over-take,” he said.

He however stated that his men had worked over-night and were still on ground, while suggesting that “what we require now, is traffic redistribution.

“All those trailers should be re-routed so that there can be flow of traffic for smaller vehicles and buses,” he stated.

Mr Oyeyemi, then suggested three ways by which the situation could be abated.

He said, vehicles could re-route through Lekki-epe, Ikorodu or Sango-ota, Abeokuta routes.

However to make that move possible, he hinted that he would be relocating from Abuja to Lagos on Thursday, so that proper discussion could be held on how to further ease the situation.

The ghastly accident occurred when a tanker collided with another truck, causing a fire explosion, on a major bridge along Lagos-Ibadan expressway, in the early hours of Wednesday.

The prompt deployment of men of the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), NSCDC, fire service and the police prevented the situation from escalating further.

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway In Second Day Of Gridlock

Lagos-Ibadan expressway, gridlockCommuters have woken up to yet another ugly traffic situation on Thursday, a second day of  the gridlock experienced on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

This follows the accident that occurred at about 3:30 am on Wednesday, in which a diesel tanker and a truck collided, leading to an explosion involving two other vehicles.

With the relentless effort of the emergency agencies, comprising the FRSC, NSCDC, LASEMA and the police, in putting out the fire outbreak and clearing the debris from the expressway, it seemed like the problem would have been abated before night fall but unfortunately that was not the case.

The incident necessitated the condoning-off of the outbound Lagos-lane which led to the undue congestion on the opposite lane where people struggled to move against the traffic.

As at 04:45 am on Thursday morning, lengthy back lights from cars, buses, trailers to trucks could be sighted far beyond one’s reach, stretching the lengthy expressway, with a stop point for adjoining vehicles heading towards Mowe-Ibafo/Lagos-outbound lane.

Motorists picked on the modus-operandi applied on Wednesday during the gridlock, this time without the presence or directives of the agencies, as Lagos in-bound lanes transformed into a two-way lane.

As at 07:45 am, on our breakfast show, Sunrise Daily a Channels Television Correspondent, Sulaiman Aledeh, who was held up in the gridlock, hinted about the situation on ground.

He said that all routes pointing to the Lagos-Ibadan expressway are on Lock-down, as both out-bound and in-bound lanes of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway were totally blocked and no road traffic agency was in sight at the time.

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Boboye Oyeyemi

Speaking to Federal Road Safety Corps Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi also on the breakfast show, he explained what has led up to the situation on the road so far.

“The Lagos Ibadan expressway has the highest traffic density in the country, of about 25,000 vehicles per hour,” he said.

This data according to him, is what led to the on-going construction aimed at expanding the roads from the two-way lane to three.

He explained that “when this kind of construction is on-going, there is bound to be such chaotic situation, however, even before the construction started, there have been series of traffic alerts by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)”.

While commending efforts of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, and other agencies who helped to ease off the traffic on Wednesday, he said men have currently been deployed to make the situation better.

Security Analyst Scores FG 10 Percent On Counter-Terrorism Measures

Olatubosun AbolarinwaA Security Consultant, Olatubosun Abolarinwa, on Thursday expressed disappointment in the Federal Government’s counter-terrorism measures, scoring it 10 percent and noting that “we are almost 67 years backward in our fight against terrorism”.

Speaking in light of the recent attacks by Boko Haram and the use of young female suicide bombers, Abolarinwa said “none of this should be surprising” as the study of terrorism trends, all over the world, shows that the events happening in Nigeria are not new.

“If you study terrorism and its trend all over the world, there is nothing happening in Nigeria now that has not happened somewhere else in the world,” he said, noting that the new trend of indoctrinating and using young suicide bombers, was saddening.

He went further to say that another sad thing was the government’s efforts to “indoctrinate the society at large, to counter it”.

He however noted that there were two ways of dealing with terrorism, including anti-terrorism – which is majorly the work of the security agencies – and counter-terrorism – which involves the general populace.

“The counter terrorism initiative of the government at the moment can be rated at 10 percent” he said, insisting that “we cannot continue to pretend, or to assume, or believe that it is the law enforcement agencies that are going to deal with this or solve it.

“It is never done like that,” Abolarinwa said.

He further stressed that the government needs to take an active step to ensure that citizens are highly conscious of the situation at hand, as majority don’t believe the severity of terrorism until there is an explosion or bomb scare around them.

“Now is the time, not later, although it is a little bit late but not too late to take steps in indoctrinating the society on how to counter terrorism,” he said, adding that “It’s ok to be over-suspicious”, on the part of the people.

He called on the government to evaluate the funds spent in the fight against terrorism vis a vis the results achieved.

Ghastly Motor Accident Leaves 6 Dead On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Berger accidentA ghastly motor accident which occurred along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, on Friday morning, led to the death of at least 6 individuals.

The accident was reportedly caused by a collision between a moving truck and a faulty truck, which was parked on the expressway. Other vehicles involved in the accident were badly damaged.

One of the vehicles involved was a “mini-truck carrying labour hands to a building site”, an eyewitness said.

One female survivor, who was pulled out from under a truck, was rushed to a hospital near 7up, and then to the Gbagada General hospital for further treatment.

Motorists were trapped in a traffic jam as all vehicles involved in the accident had caused a complete blockage on the road.

Security agencies including the FRSC, Nigeria Police, Army had stormed the area to salvage the situation.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Nneota Egbe, who was at the scene of the accident said that many eyewitnesses had been in shock. He also reported that there had been about two other accidents on the same road, which were largely caused by impatience.

Questions concerning lighting on the expressway have been raised, following the accident which happened in the early hours of the morning.

Also, authorities have been called to ensure the road worthiness of vehicles in order to avert such occurrences.

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Ex-Governor’s Pension Law Must Be Scrapped – George Eke

George EkeA legal practitioner, George Eke, on Wednesday advocated that the controversial ex-governor’s pension law be scrapped and a “Salary For Life” approach be adopted to allow those who have served to have benefits after their time in office.

“Let them have, at least for serving, life pension” he said, while on Sunrise Daily, describing the extra perks including cooks, security aides, houses as “looting and an abuse of the office.”

Although he commended Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpbabio for bringing the discussion to the front burner, Eke insisted that the law was an attempt by governor’s leaving office to get enough money to keep them secured after their tenures.

He stressed that the bill has been passed in almost all the States of the federation and wondered where the NGO’s and civil society groups were when the law was initially passed.

According to the lawyer, the perks for those who have served in office are too much, which is why many become desperate to be in power.

“Why must the governor be in the sky after serving?” he asked, noting that no destitute contests for the position of governor and so the law mandating that a 5-bedroom house for governor “is rubbish”.

On the health pension, Eke said the governors should make the health system work and then they can be given free medical attention after office.

“Let them have at least for serving, life pension” he said, describing the extra perks of cooks, security aides, houses in Abuja as “looting and an abuse of the office.”

Gusau’s Ambition To Control Armed Forces Won’t Work – Emma Addo

Emma AddoA Public Affairs Analyst, Emma Addo, on Friday said that the ambition of the new Minister of Defence, Aliyu Gusau, to have total control over the entire security apparatus of the nation would not work as the Nigerian Armed Forces Act and the National Defence Policy have defined his roles.

He also said that the ensuing power play between Gusau and the Service Chiefs was “normal” as “people are bound to want to flex muscles and lay the ground rules.”

Although, Mr. Addo, who was speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, admitted that the new developments were not welcomed considering the security situation in the country, he, however, opined that “what has happened is normal” and would not affect the on-going battle against the Boko Haram insurgency.

Rumours that the Defence Minister had resigned filtered into the public domain following his absence at a Security Council meeting as a result of a disagreement with the Service Chiefs, which the Presidency debunked. Mr.Addo was of the opinion that the “the new minister is an old hand who we started hearing about from 1983 when General Buhari came to power. So, I think he has a long history”, adding that Gusau’s pedigree may have threatened the composure of the Service Chiefs.

Addo also mentioned that information in the public domain revealed that Gusau had asked the President to allow him be in charge of the entire Force just as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the Coordinating Minister of Finance. However, “the military is a different ball game,” he added.

“There’s just no way it’s going to work out. If it works out for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, it’s not going to work out for you.

“You see, the whole problem with this military thing is Gusau is course 3 and the new service chiefs and the CDS are course 21, 21, 23, 24. So from the word go, I think there was going to be problem.”

He went further to say “Gusau asking to be in total control of the Military is informed by one fact – that the North believes that they’ve not had a fair deal” in terms of position.

Addo also did not rule out the possibility of an attraction to personal gains as he suggested that Gusau may also want to reap the benefits of such influence, including the power to “vet appointments” and “vet contracts.”

Although the Minister In Charge of Defence oversees policy making, the CDS is in charge of the day to day affairs of the Force and the Service Chiefs, his subordinates. “If you look at all those put together, I am not too sure the military high commanders are wrong.”

Addo, however, allayed fears that the political struggle would affect the fight against the insurgents. “I think the military boys are doing their job and it’s the political aspect of it that’s playing out.”

National Conference: Real Issues Are Corruption And Ethnic Differences – Ezeala

A Legal Practitioner, Chukwuma Ezeala, has recommended that the National Conference must have real representation of Nigeria’s 6 geo-political zones, for it to truly address the issues confronting the country.

While speaking on Channels Televison flagship breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’, he noted that since the year 1964, the main issues confronting Nigeria had bothered on corruption and ethnic differences.

While admitting that leadership was also an issue, he argued that one of the reasons Nigeria has not had good leadership was because of the ethnic problems, explaining that the ethnic problems affect the way the leaders emerge.

He explained how ethnic groups determine who should be the Nigerian President and also influence who would be Ministers to work with him. He claimed that it has also been ethnicity that had shielded corruption over the years.

Mr Ezeala, however, suggested that this situation does not require that the National Conference be tagged ethnic. He said that what Nigerians must ensure is that issues of ethnicity are discussed. He said: “If we already have accepted to 6 geo-political zones, why don’t we make sure that there is real representation of those 6 geo-political zones, which represents the ethnic issues and which has fairly equal representation?”

On the issues of a “no go area”, the lawyer said: “If we must discuss how we are going to live, first thing will be to affirm that we want to live as one country. I think that 90% of Nigerians want us to be together, so why are you avoiding it?

“Let it be that for the first time, Nigerians have said they want to live together.

“Now, the next question is yes we want to live together but how do we live together? Is it possible for an Ondo man to come to Lagos and become the Governor of Lagos State? I think it should be possible if he is the most qualified…but we need to agree because my own view should not be the view of Nigerians.

“We should come in, discuss, decide this and we now give it a print of authority to say this is what Nigerians have done, and any president and any leader can now enforce it and not say that it was Decree 24 that brought us together and decreed how we should live.”

In a show of cautious optimism, Mr Ezeala expressed confidence that the constitution of the National Conference has the ingredients to address the Nigerian issues once and for all, provided that at the end of the conference there is a written agreement which would make it easy for political leaders to enforce the people’s resolution.

He also suggested that the National Assembly should pass a law that would enable the outcomes of the National Conference to go through a referendum, and if they are not ready to do so, the Conference could recommend or decide that what they had done should go through a referendum.

He also spoke about the structure of the representation at the conference as it affects the body of lawyers in Nigeria.

Defection Of Politicians Is Not Based On Ideological Conviction – Eyiboh

A Former Spokesman for the House of Representatives, Eseme Eyiboh, on Wednesday said that those defecting from one party to another, particularly from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress are only doing so for selfish interests, as the move is not based on any ideological conviction.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Eyiboh complained that the main issues, including internal democracy and party management, had been abandoned for other matters.

He said that neglecting key issues of the management of political parties and internal democracy of the parties would lead to a “poor leadership recruitment process where you have wrong people in right places.”

He averred that the trend of defection was good for both the ruling and opposition parties but insisted that the trend was based on selfish interests and not the welfare of the people or on any ideological conviction.

“It is not all about the issue of the people. It’s about your heart being where your mouth is” he said, stressing that “none of these persons is doing it either out of ideological conviction or because of the mandate of that people,” he stressed.

On the possibility of the opposition party, APC, being a better party than the ruling PDP, Eyiboh said “APC, as a matter of fact is not a solution because APC is unable to provide an alternative to what they believe is wrong with the PDP controlled government.”

He further stated that the “APC shot itself in the foot by allowing PDP to reinvent itself” through the new party chairman, “a businessman who stoops low to conquer.”

Speaking on controversy and issues surrounding the defection of 11 senators to the APC, which the PDP opposed, although it had benefitted from similar defections in the past, Eyiboh said “the scenario is different in the sense that some members of the APC went to court (to stop their seats from being declared vacant) and PDP also went to court saying they should not defect from PDP.”

“We can’t deny the fact that there are other subsisting issues before the court of law and because it is so, it becomes unnecessary for you to begin to talk about it because the matter will be sub judice. In previous cases, there has never been such circumstance,” he said.

On the Senators’ insistence that their letter of defection be acknowledged and read on the floor of the House, Eyiboh said the Senate President was not under obligation to do it by their prompting.

He continued by saying, “it is a communication, it will definitely be done but he has to look at all the exigencies. In this case, he has to look at the matter before the court and other matters bordering on the roles of the Senate.

He further argued that “we must have a clear difference between politics and governance.”

Politics: Boko Haram Attacks Will Reduce In 2014 – Ejiofor

A former Director of State Security Services, Mike Ejiofor, has predicted a decrease in the activities of the Boko Haram sect in 2014 as political activities increases and the nation gears up for state elections in Osun and Ekiti States as well as the forthcoming 2015 general elections.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Ejiofor said: “I’ll tell you outright from forecasts, the activities of Boko Haram are going to go down with the rise of political activities,” he said, insisting that the sect is politically motivated.

The appointment of new Service Chiefs, including the Chief of Defence Staff is also no guarantee that “the activities of Boko Haram will go underground,” he said, faulting the new CDS’ promise to bring an end to the insurgency in before the 2015 elections.

“I believe he should have settled down to study the situation,” he said.

Commenting on the state of the nation’s security, Ejiofor stressed that progress was being made. “In 2013 for instance, we made a lot of progress in terms of security. You can see that the issue of Boko Haram is now restricted to Borno in particular, with occasional splashes in Yobe and some parts of the North East.”

The current situation, he said, “is unlike what we had in 2011 – 2012 when it was bombing everywhere. You had in Kaduna and Kano. It was all over, even in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

“I think we made substantial progress in 2013,” he said but stressed that there were “spill overs from 2013 to 2014.”

According to him, the greatest challenge Nigeria will face in 2014 is on the political front because of preparations for general elections. “I would concentrate more on the political threats.”

“The outcome of the governorship election coming up in Osun and Ekiti states is very critical to the general elections coming up in 2015.

“We should worry as a matter of fact” he said, referring to developments in the polity part of which he said was the mass defections from the PDP to the APC.

According to him, “PDP to Nigerians is just like what the Catholic Church is to the Christendom” and it is healthy for the nations democracy when politicians move in and out of political parties.

On the forthcoming elections, he said: “We should expect some level of violence this year in terms of political activities”.

“INEC should put all they have together and make sure that Osun and Ekiti elections come out clean. At least they should be able to score at least 80 to 90 per cent because we would be deceiving ourselves if we say we expect 100 per cent.”

On INEC’s decision not to conduct elections in the three states currently under emergency rule if security threats persist, Mr Ejifor mentioned the possibility of elections in the state based on the success of local government elections in Yobe state.

He also drew attention to comments made by certain individuals concerning the forthcoming general elections. “My worry is the utterances being made by some elders that would tend to compound our already existing problems.”

“Politically, if we don’t moderate our utterances, it’s going to create a lot of problems.”

He berated elder statesmen who have been making comments that would generate conflict in the polity.

On the arrest of Mr Nasir El-Rufai by the DSS for making inciting comments, Mr Ejiofor said there were bound to be reactions from the people because other individuals had made similar comments and were not seen to be called to order.

He said: “Government should be commended for the tolerance of opposition” as previous administrations had been hostile towards critics.

He further blamed some print media for its way of reporting news which “generates a lot of friction when there is none.”

“Some of our print media are part of the problems we are facing in our security challenges,” he said, citing ambiguous headlines as examples.

He called on the media to “play down on some of the security threats.”

Our Decision To Leave PDP Should Be Respected – Saraki

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Bukola Saraki, has said that the decision by some senators, who have chosen to decamp from the Peoples Democratic Party to the opposition, APC should be respected, as the trend of defection “is not new.”

Speaking on the letter of defection which led to disagreements between senators on both sides of the PDP/APC divide, as a result of the Senate President’s refusal to read the letter on the floor of the Senate, Saraki said that “the practice has always been in the past that when Senators or members of the House of Representatives change their party for whatever reason, they come to the floor and indicate their interest by writing to the leadership, quoting section 68 of the constitution. The leadership reads it and it goes into the records of the Senate that you have defected to another party.”

He added that the laid down procedures “had been working very well in the past but unfortunately now, it seems not to be working as it used to.”

He said arguments that the senators who decamp will lose their seats are false as the trend is not new in the country. “I think between the House and the Senate, there are over 20 cases since 1999, where people had defected quoting the same section.

“There’s not been any hullabaloo about it. There’s been no noise. It’s gone smoothly. People have left the opposition party to the ruling party, now it’s the other way round, people are quoting and trying to hold on to what doesn’t exist.

He added that “as of today, there’s no law that stops any of the senators or members of the House of Representatives to say that they have left their party.”

“The issue at the end of the day is that most of these decisions are based on your constituencies. At the end of the day, that’s what we represent.

“We have moved. We have taken those decisions. I think that it needs to be respected.

The former governor of Kwara State advocated for consistency in government process, adding that “every time we do things to suit the situation, it goes back to bite us and haunt us later.”

He argued that the case concerning defection is the same in both legislative houses and should not be treated differently. “One would wonder if the legal experts who are advising the Senate President are totally different from those advising the Speaker. I mean, it’s the same case.”

Defection To APC

Asked why he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress, Mr Saraki cited impunity as one of the reasons he left the ruling party for the opposition.

“I think largely, it is due to the kind of dissatisfaction that we’ve seen in the affairs of the party over a while with regards to key issues like the level of impunity, the regard for the rule of law, the level of inclusiveness, the consideration of the wishes of the people and party members at the different chapters, not ready for us to engage more in participatory democracy.”

He added that those who defected in Kwara State did so because the leadership of the party had interfered in the State chapter’s primaries.

“Leading to our local government election, we had carried out primaries at the party. The party had come from Abuja to supervise our primaries.

“We were going to election, after electing our flag-bearers and then 24 hours before election, somebody who sat in Abuja, decided to just write another 193 names (of councilors) and sent it to the state INEC commissioner to say that these are the authorised candidates of the party,” he said.

Presidential Ambition

Saraki also addressed rumours that he may contest in the forthcoming presidential elections.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mr Saraki said those criticising his activities are quick to attribute them to a personal ambition to become President.

Return To PDP

The Senator has said that it is too late to return to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. Asked if the change in the party’s leadership will make him turn back, he said it was too late despite the new Chairman of the PDP being  ‘a nice chap.’

 

 

 

 

 

Bamanga Tukur’s Troubles Originated In Adamawa – State Government

The Director of Press in the Adamawa State House, Ahmad Sajoh, on Wednesday told Channels Television that the outcry against the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Bamanga Tukur as well as the call for his removal originated from a poorly conducted party election in the northern state.

Speaking as a guest on the station’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Sajoh said acts of impunity by the leadership of the PDP at the national level led to the on-going crisis which has threatened to engulf the nation.

“Beyond what we are seeing in Rivers, I can see dangers in the whole country” as issues of National Development seem to have taken the back burner while issues of ethnicity, personalities and religions have dominated discourses in the public domain.

He noted that “politicians are becoming too self-centered. They are thinking of their self too much, much more than they are thinking of the nation or the people.”

“If the situation in Adamawa was managed properly, maybe the National Chairman (of the PDP) would not have gotten to where he is because that is the genesis of the entire crisis.”

“The whole agitations against him, the level of impunity that people are talking about today came from Adamawa,” he said.

He continued by saying that: “There was an election of the party leadership in Adamawa. That election was conducted by a panel sent by the National Secretariat. No Adamawa indigene was involved, no Adamawa person was involved.

“The panel called for nominations, screened the candidates, declared them fit to contest, conducted the elections and those that won the elections. They (panel) wrote a report (I have a copy of the report) to the National Secretariat that the election in Adamawa state was free, fair and in accordance with the constitution of the PDP. An appeal panel came and said Adamawa people have appeared to understand the meaning of working together so they passed the process.

“Shortly after that, a letter came from the National Secretariat dissolving the EXCO on the grounds that something violated the PDP constitution in the constitution of the EXCO.

“At that point, if after there was this strict argument based on the law and the documents available and if superior argument had won and the national leadership accepted that they were wrong in doing this or right in doing this and an amicable settlement was done, then this crisis would not have escalated to other states being affected, other people affected and now it’s trying to engulf the entire country,” Sajoh said.

He berated the attitude of Nigerian politicians for being unrelenting in their quest for position, adding that “most of us in politics in Nigeria are too self-centered. It’s about self and now we have also extended that same thing to the larger society by insisting that all discussions should be about individuals, about where they come from.”

According to him, the same scenario is playing out in Rivers State where the issue revolves around persons including Governor Chibuike Amaechi who had defected to the opposition party, the First Lady of the nation, Dame Patience Jonathan and others.

He described the situation in the oil-rich state ominous for the entire nation and that dishonesty on the part of the Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu on the use of rubber bullets is a recipe for more troubles for the nation. “When people do things and don’t own up to them, it is a recipe for serious crisis in the country,” he said.

He cited the crisis which has torn apart the Central African Republic, adding that the crisis of leadership in Nigeria could create more repercussions than expected if left to degenerate.

Sajoh however expressed confidence in the power of dialogue adding that “political differences could be discussed no matter what they are without resorting to the use of violence.”

Rivers Crisis: Police Used Only Tear Gas – Opi

A Legal Practitioner, Idaye Opi, who was in Port Harcourt when the Police raid of the ‘Save Rivers Movement’ rally occurred  on Sunday, January 12, has thrown more light on the role of the Police in the issue.

Contributing to Channels Television breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Tuesday, via telephone, Opi clarified that by his observation of the overwhelming view in the city, the Police used only tear gas to disperse the crowd, as there was no bullet.

He also said that the Police, asides saying that the organisers had no permit,  also claimed that they got reports that some people were planning to invade and cause mayhem at the rally.

The Police stated that the way and manner the organisers went about their activities, it may have degenerate into skirmish, but Opi also noted that the Police did not act right.

He said: “We are not in the State of Emergency in Rivers State.”

He reiterated his position in the state as “not being an Amaechi apologist. “In this instance, I believe that the Police was very wrong, as nobody needs a police permit for a public gathering.”

He argued that labour unions, political parties, churches and other organizations could organise rallies without such demands being made of them.

Opi added that if indeed the Police had fears that the event was going to degenerate into a breakdown of law and order, they should have gone to watch over them in order to step in when they sense trouble approaching.