By Emma Arubi
WARRI — HEAVILY armed soldiers from the Effurun Barracks, Warri, and policemen in three Armoured Personnel Carriers, APCs, yesterday, dispersed thousands of Chief James Onanefe Ibori supporters who gathered at the Sapele Athlantic Club, Sapele, Delta State, to urge the Dubai authority to free the former governor of Delta State.
The rally that was scheduled to hold at both Sapele and Warri later held only at Warri where President Goodluck Jonathan was charged to ensure that Chief Ibori was freed by the Dubai authority and brought to Nigeria because he fled the country when it became obvious that his life was at stake.
The security agents and the APCs assisted by a Toyota Hilux load of heavily armed soldiers which later drove round major areas of the oil city menacingly were however beaten to the game when the organisers of the rally successfully addressed the teeming supporters from across the nooks and crannies of the state at Ajamimogha, Warri.
Addressing supporters of Ibori who came in 50-eighteen seater buses, sporting an all white pro-Ibori T-shirt, a leader of the Pro-Ibori group, Barr. Isreal Edoka Itugbu, accompanied by Engr. Austin Atiti and a co-ordinator of President Goodluck Jonathan for President Campaign in Delta State, said they are gathered purely to show solidarity with the former governor who is currently in detention in the United Arab Emirate.
According to Itugbu, “Chief Ibori is innocent and only a victim of political victimization”, even as he called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Dubai authorities to mediate and negotiate his freedom”, saying that “a free Ibori is a free Niger Delta”.
He maintained that Chief Ibori is being haunted because of his struggle for resource control and his ardent support for the late President Umaru Musa Yar“Adua and his rising political profile that is threatening the political ambition of some assumed godfathers in the state in particular and Nigeria in
He stated further: “Much as we love Goodluck Jonathan, we wish to state that for the whole of the Niger Delta to queue behind his presidential ambition, Ibori must be set free”, asking whether any ex-British or Dubai governor can be arrested in Nigeria and tried here.