*Demands apology from Police
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
PORT HARCOURT—NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, protesting alleged recent tear-gassing and brutalisation in Port Harcourt of newly-recruited teachers in Rivers State who had gathered at the instance of the State’s Universal Basic Education Board to receive their letters of posting.
In the petition by Acting General Secretary, Chris Uyot, NLC argued that in view of the alleged unwarranted and unlawful attack on law-abiding citizens, it was demanding “an apology from the Nigeria Police; a firm assurance from the Police to conduct itself in the future in line with civilized norms and rules of engagement; an investigation of this despicable and ignominious conduct; the evacuation of the police from Obio/Akpor Local Government Secretariat for workers to resume work, and the posting of Mr. Joseph Mbu out of Rivers State for free and unfettered investigation but especially for his excesses, and his inability to inspire confidence in the contending parties in the state.”
The petition reads in part, “The conduct of the police was unnecessary, shameful, ill-advised, contemptuous, illegal and a throw-back to the dark ages. The right to freely and peacefully associate is guaranteed by our constitution and does not reside with any individual, no matter how-highly placed. Even in untowardly circumstances, there are rules of engagement, let alone in a situation where teachers had no motive other than to collect their letters of posting.
We are inclined to believe Mr. Joseph Mbu, the State Commissioner of Police who directed this heinous attack was not acting at your behest because we recall you came into office with a new code of conduct which Nigerians applauded. Need we remind overzealous, blood-thirsty and sycophantic officers like Mbu that we are old enough as a nation and sufficiently experienced as citizens of this country to know that it does little good when an officer of his rank compromises his institution or code of conduct in order to appease insular and selfish motives.”
“We also had cause earlier to draw your attention to the deliberate closure of Obio/Akpor Local Government Secretariat at the behest of the State Commissioner of Police.”