-Protesters seek arrest, prosecution of perpetrators
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA- ELEVEN days after the conduct of the National and State Assembly rerun election in Rivers State, some civil society groups disenchanted with the violence and killings that marred the exercise, took to the streets of Abuja, Tuesday, to register their feelings.
The groups, which merged under the aegis of National Support Groups for Good Governance, NASUGG, took their protests to the Police Headquarters, having gone round some busy streets of the federal capital city.
Brandishing different placards with different inscriptions suggesting their disapproval of electoral violence in the country, the group tasked the police to arrest all perpetrators and culprits involved in not only the Rivers rerun election violence but also the killings of police officers and other persons during the exercise.
In a protest letter signed by the National Coordinator of the groups, Abdulwahab Ekekhide and Secretary, Jonathan Adegoke, respectively, and handed to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, through the Assistant Inspector of Police in charge of Operations, Alkali Baba Usman,the group tasked the police to fish all involved in the acts.
It specifically decried what it term hate speech by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike during the build up to the rerun election, saying such act may have contributed to the ugly development, which resulted to the killings of some police men and some innocent persons.
It particularly flayed the beheading of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, DSP Ibrahim Alkali and his aide by his assailants.
“The beheading of DSP Alkali Mohammed, alongside his aide during an ambush at Omoku, Onelga Local Government Area, the shooting of Mr Meebari John Meebari, the killing of innocent electorate and the adoption and manhandling of INEC electoral officers during the election is one too many and highly condemnable.
“It is in the light of the above that the National Support Groups for Good Governance, is appealing to you as the Inspector General of Police to use your good office to convoke an investigation into the Rivers killing and bring the perpetrators to justice, “the letter read.
Some of the placards displayed read:”Say no to Governor Udom Wike’s impunity and rascality;” Governor Wike should stop politicizing the safety and peaceful coexistence of the good people of Rivers State;”We demand justice for the killing of innocent souls in Rivers State instigated Nyesom Wike;”Federal Government should cut the excesses before it’s too late;”Youths refuse to be used as electoral thugs;”We condemn all acts of electoral violence in Nigeria, among others.
Assistant Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, who received the letter on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, promised to deliver the protest letter to the police boss.
He thanked the groups for their civil disposition to the matter, assuring them that their recommendations captured in their letter would be implemented to their expectations.