Protesters Storm Abuja over Killings of Security Officers during Rivers Rerun Polls


Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Protesters under the aegis of National Support Groups for Good Governance yesterday stormed Abuja over killings of security officials during the recent rerun election in Rivers State.

The National Coordinator of the group, Abdulwahab Ekakhide, while speaking at the police headquarters, said the group was opposed to all forms of electoral violence in the country.

The group also protested against what they described as alleged incitement of the people for violence by the state Governor, Nyesom Wike.

According to him, “It is worrisome that innocent citizens who went out to freely exercise their franchise to determine who become their representatives at the state and national assemblies were murdered.
Ekakhide stated: “We are not happy with the spate of killings during elections in Nigeria with particular reference to the legislative re-run election in Rivers State where a police DSP and his aide were beheaded with another resident shot dead.”

He expressed dismay that workers of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were abducted and taken hostage because people wanted them to write the result they wanted.

The national coordinator of the group noted that “on October 18, we were at the National Assembly and the Supreme Court to show that there’s nobody above the law. Now, we are saying that Nigerians should join hands with all security agents to say no to electoral violence in this country.

“The people killed, though they are Rivers citizens, were Nigerians. Secondly, the leaders of this country who need to know these and take actions are in Abuja. “The Inspector General of Police (IG) is here, the president is here, the Speaker of House of Representatives and the President of Senate are here as well as the Minister of Justice.
“The investigation into the killing does not lie in ordinary citizens like us. The work lies with the police, and that’s why we are here. We are saying that in any election, there should be no violence during election

“After the election, Rivers State Government led a protest to police command and demanded a police officer to vacate the state or anything can happen to him. The state government has no such right to tell agency of the federal government to vacate the state. What he was indirectly saying was telling the people if you see this man kill him.
“That’s the message the state was sending and we must caution the state governor. He is not the president of this country, he is just a governor that was elected by his people.

“Nobody, no matter how highly placed, has the right to take laws into his hands and you can’t continue to incite the people because when you get to certain level, you don’t make some statements capable of inciting the people, and that is why we are saying that Wike should be cautioned and made to retract his statements; he should not make such statements as they are very inciting.”

The protest took off at the Eagle Square to Force Headquarters and the Federal Ministry of Justice in Abuja.