Video: Many injured as Police disperse supporters of Peter Obi with Teargas

The Police in Ebonyi State on Saturday morning, dispersed supporters of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, with teargas.

The supporters known as Obi-dients, had gathered at the Pastoral Centre, Mile 50, in Abakaliki, for a solidarity march before security operatives in Hilux vans stormed the area and dispersed them with teargas.

However, minutes after they were violently dispersed, the Obi supporters gathered again and proceeded with the solidarity march from Mile 50 to the G-hostel area of the state capital.

Speaking on the incident, one of the supporters, Steve Ugama, who spoke with newsmen, called on the state governor, David Umahi, to address the issue and condemned the attack on the youths of the state who, according to him, came out only with the Nigerian flag to demonstrate their support for a preferable Presidential candidate.

He said, “This is inhumane and undemocratic. We gathered here this morning for our peaceful March, all of a sudden, the police came and started tear-gassing us and arresting our people.

“My phone was smashed by the police this morning. We demand that the people that they (police) have arrested be released unconditionally because they have not done anything.

“Nobody came out here with even a stone. We didn’t come out here with a pin. What we came out here with, is the Nigerian flag. What we came out here with is the symbol of the Labour Party, LP.

“This movement has been held in every other part of the country, including the state that we have a presidential candidate, and they were not fired. Nobody disturbed them because it is a peaceful rally.

“Why is Ebonyi’s case always different? The Governor, David Umahi, needs to address this. As he (Umahi) said before that Ebonyi votes belong to APC, he is an individual and he should allow us to support a candidate that is our choice.

“Nobody likes what is happening in Nigeria. And we feel that Peter Obi is the light, that will light Nigeria. He is the light that Nigerian youths want. He is the light that will stop all these attributes that are taking place in Nigeria.”

Another supporter of Obi also said many of his colleagues were injured.

 The Labour Party (LP) has reacted to Saturday’s attack on supporters of its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, during a solidarity march in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

A statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Arabambi Abayomi, condemned what he described as an “unprovoked attack with guns on the supporters of LP in Ebonyi State by the Nigeria Police on behalf of the ruling APC Government in Ebonyi State.”

He warned the APC and its supporters to be conscious of the fact that no one has the monopoly on violence while describing the police attack on Obi’s supporters as unprofessional.

“It is now very clear that APC is set to use its hidden and unhidden cells in the groups of the bandits and killers it has kept nurturing in troubling the peace and the wellbeing of Nigeria against the marked opposition Labour Party as the only political party that gives APC worries and fears for the daily increasing level of massive and wide support LP enjoys across the Nation.

“It will be sad if the Nigeria Police either knowingly or unintentionally allow Governments to rubbish the little gains it has been able to record in the minds of the people for better professionalism.

“It’s evidence that this administration has moved all Nigeria military adware from various armoury to some APC control states with clear instructions to reduce Labour Party members through officially sponsored killing, banditry and murder”, Abayomi said, adding that no amount of violent attacks and intimidation will discourage the LP in its mission of rescuing Nigeria.

He called on the Inspector-General of Police to constitute a commission of inquiry into the attack on LP supporters and bring erring officers to book.

“LP is emphatically and loudly assuring the Citizens of Nigeria and the World at large, that on its chosen journey to lead NIGERIA into a united, peaceful, and strong Nation, no amount of violent attacks and intimidations shall discourage the LP.

“However, it is meet to challenge the IG of Police to quickly institute an inquiry into the Ebonyi State attack on the supporters of LP and immediately bring the guilty to face the law.

“LP feels the pains that were visited on the LP/Obidient supporters in the unfortunate attack on them in Ebonyi State by the Police as the indirect eyes and paws of the APC, we assure you that Justice shall definitely be earned on the unfortunate unconstitutional action of the bad and compromised Ebonyi State Police Command and the political racist Governor of Ebonyi State”, he said.

Meanwhile, Governor David Umahi has denied allegation that he ordered the state police command to attack Obidient supporters on Saturday.

The governor, in a statement signed and issued to newsmen in Abakaliki by his Special Assistant on Media and Strategy, Chooks Oko, described the alleged disruption of the Obidient movement in the state as false.

According to the statement: “The rumours making the rounds that he (Umahi) ordered the disruption of a gathering in support of one of the presidential candidates in the 2023 elections is not true.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State is certainly not aware of any disruption of any gathering, as he didn’t order any. He is a democrat who believes firmly in the rule of law. He wishes every contending politician the very best and will insist on a level playing ground for all. If it is true that the police dispersed people, the answer will surely rest with the police.”

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