THE alleged shooting of Senator Magnus Abe by the police last Sunday at the Arts and Science College, Rumuola Road, in Obio Akpor local government area of Rivers State is the cause of division in Ogoniland with one group saying the senator lied over the incident while another group said the alleged attack was a clear case of a move to kill another Ogoni son after the judicial murder of Ken Saro-wiwa, a foremost environmentalist and former leader of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), by the Abacha administration.
Rivers State Police Command was at the centre of it all as there were allegations that policemen shot Abe on the chest with rubber bullets. The senator, who represents Rivers South East senatorial district, was at the Arts and Science College that Sunday morning to assess preparations for a rally slated for the venue by the Save Rivers Movement, a pro-Governor Chibuike Amaechi group.
The division the alleged shooting of Abe has caused among his Ogoni kinsmen manifested when two different youth groups embarked on rival protests. The first one, held on Tuesday, condemned the alleged attack by the police on the senator. The protesters, who blocked the Akpajo end of the East West Road as early as 6am, described the incident as an attempt by the security body to assassinate Abe. They said they would resist acts of impunity on the part of the police even as they called for the immediate transfer of the state Police Commissioner, Mr Joseph Mbu.
About seven vehicles were smashed on the Akpajo end of the East West Road during the protest.
The protesting youths said they were not ready to lose Abe the way they lost Saro-wiwa several years ago. One of the youth leaders, Mr Isaac Obe, told Sunday Vanguard that women, elders and several others in Ogoniland were so pained when they heard the news of the Abe attack.
“Our people came out to protest to the world against what happened to Senator Abe. We lost Ken Saro-wiwa, we do not want to lose another son”, he said.
READ THE FULL STORY IN TOMORROW’S EDITION OF SUNDAY VANGUARD