By Abel Daniel
LAFIA – Police officers in governor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state convoy brutalized a woman and her relatives and damaged their property right before her eyes but the governor has denied the report saying it not true.
According to eye witness Lois Iorvihi’s crime was that her car had failed to get out of the way quickly enough as the governor approached.
Ms. Iorvihi was traveling through Lafia, the capital of Governor Makura’s Nassarawa, with her younger sister, Joi and their brother Jerry, on their way from Makurdi to Abuja over the weekend around 3: 00 PM Nigerian time,
“The incidence happened just immediately after the bypass on that sharp bend where many souls have perished, a dispatch rider overtook her car and was crisscrossing in front of her instructing her to clear off the road,” the eye witness who would not want his name mentioned said in his account.
Before Ms. Iorvihi could react, she heard a loud siren from behind her. As she tried to steer away from the road, up came a Hilux pick-up van loaded with heavily-armed anti-riot policemen who shoved her car off the road. She was stunned but managed to bring the car to a halt in front of the valley.
“Immediately she brought the car to a stop, four of the policemen descended on the car using the nozzle of their rifles to dent, perforate and scratch the body of her car”. he stated.
“In the passenger seat, her brother wind down his window and pleaded with the police officers to take it easy, drawing their attention to his stunned sister’s agitated state”.
They responded by dragging him out of the car and then proceeded to beat him to a pulp with the butt of their rifles.
The situation worsened when they noticed that Joi had started to use her phone to take pictures of the proceedings. They seized all of her phones, along with an iPad, and smashed all the devices on the road.
Lois, confused and hysterical, stood in the middle of the road screaming and begging. “Is this fair?” she asked repeatedly.
As traffic began to build up on both sides of the road, someone called out to her, telling her, “Madam, their Oga dey inside that Jeep, go and beg him.”
Lois walked towards the heavily tinted SUV bearing the Nigeria Coat of Arms and the insignia of the governor. As she got within a few yards of the car, the heavily-tinted widow was brought down, obviously by someone who had had a generous view of the violence being perpetrated on citizens.
It was Governor Tanko Al Makura, the first citizen of Nasarawa State, but before Lois could open her mouth, the governor spoke, “Young girl, you are so rude”.
“How am I rude? Is this fair? Is this why we voted for you? We did not vote for you so that your convoy will run us out of the road. Look at what your security men are doing? They are destroying my car, beating my brother to a pulp and smashing all our mobile devices just because we had the misfortune of driving in front of your convoy?”
Thereafter Lois, Joi, and her brother Jerry were arrested and taken back to the Divisional Police Headquarters first to Nassarrawa-Eggon police station where an incident report was entered by the DPO and later Lois and her siblings were taken to Lafia at about 5 pm.
Following those events, they were detained until Friday morning and then released after Lois refused to write a letter of apology addressed to Governor Al Makura for “obstructing his convoy and being rude to him”.
The siblings returned home completely traumatized, wondering if their brutalization at the hands of a key operatives.
Jerry, in pain, continues to receive treatment. His only offense is that he asked the policemen to take it easy with his sister who had inadvertently found herself driving in front of Governor Al Makura’s convoy.
Joi is not only depressed but had her phones and iPad smashed on the unforgiving road, by one of Governor Al Makura’s policemen repeatedly used his jungle boots to stamp on the devices, jumping on them repeatedly to ensure they were destroyed beyond repair.
Responding the chief press secretary to governor Tukur Ahmed told Vanguard that there was no iota of truth in the fast spreading story but the misrepresentation of
facts calculated to tarnish the image of the governor by mischief makers.
According to Tukur “For the avoidance of doubt and to set the records straight, on Thursday 10, September 2015 about 3.pm when the convoy of His Excellency was approaching Nasarawa Eggon Local Government a vehicle was right on the
middle of the road and inspite of several efforts by the police outrider and the pilot to slow the car down, the vehicle remained right in the centre of the road refusing to make way for the convoy which nearly caused an accident.
Tukur refuted that the action of the vehicle gave room for suspicion considering the fact that it was at the same area in 2003 that the convoy of former governor of
Benue state George Akume now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was attacked.
The governor’s spokesman said further that a close look at the vehicle, the Escort commander noticed a women driving with a minor in the front seat and directed the convoy to track her with caution not to push her car by the shoulder.
He revealed further that after about 3-5 minutes the Escort commander managed to halt her. She stopped abruptly on the road forcing the convoy to also stop and
other road user causing heavy traffic along the high way.
“As She came out, she began to rain abuses on the Police boasting that she
is a lawyer and a daughter of a police Commissioner and has the right to
drive the way she wants”.
“Noticing her unruly behavior, the Governor directed the Escort commander to invite the Police from the nearest police station to handle the matter to avoid further congestion and obstruction of traffic on the Highway while the convoy continued on its journey to Abuja”. The chief press explained.