* Police said 20 protesters arrested

BY: Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

Motorcyclists especially commercial operators yesterday stormed the Uyo station of the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA protesting the alleged killing of their colleague at Mbierebe Obio community in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state by the police.

Motorcyclists protest colleague’s killing in A-Ibom, destroy NTA vehicles
Motorcycle (Okada) riders protest

It was gathered that the deceased was allegedly shot dead by the operatives of the  Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) while he tried to
resist them (police) from enforcing the ban on his colleagues.

“The police later went to the NTA station, to make an announcement on enforcement of the ban on motorcyclists in restricted areas, when the angry motorcyclist operators trailed them to the station’ an NTA,” a source said.

According to the source, the protesters pulled down the gate of the NTA, set part of the building ablaze and vandalized two vehicles belonging to the station.

It was further gathered that many were injured in the process.

A motorcyclist operator who claimed he witnessed the incident but pleaded anonymity told newsmen yesterday that the deceased was allegedly shot dead by the Officers while resisting them from confiscating his
motorbike.

 “He (the deceased)  had resisted the Police who tried to seize his motorcycle for violating the ban on motorcycle operations in the
Uyo”. He simply said.

Meanwhile, the protest which started on Tuesday continued yesterday (Wednesday) morning in Mbierebe axis extending to the Godswill Akpabio international stadium as the
protesters battle armed security agents, casting stones and other dangerous weapons at government vehicles, disrupting
businesses activities in the area.

However, some residents of Uyo have expressed the opinion have urged the state government and security agencies in the state to ensure that there was strict compliance to the ban on movement of motorcyclists within the state capital as some of them were behind the incessant robbery attacks on them.

Some particularly identified Ikot Ekpene Road, Idoro and Nelson Mandela Streets as most affected where hoodlums use motorcycles to rob unsuspecting members of the public and after disappear to rural communities.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Odiko MacDon, who confirmed the incident, however, disclosed that the command had already arrested 20 members of the protesting motorcyclists.

Macdon who said one dead body was recovered by the police said the command was still receiving report of the incident and therefore that he could not tell whether the deceased was killed by the police or the protesters.

The Police spokesman stressed, “I can’t confirm to you whether the dead body recovered was shot  by the SARS or the protesting youths. The command is still
receiving reports of the incident and will make the reports available to members of the press at the appropriate time.

“It is unfortunate because some members of the public have been trying to frustrate the police in carrying their responsibility of enforcing the ban on motorcyclists in restricted areas of the state”

Vanguard News

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