Ex-Rivers LG Chiefs Defy Police, Stage Protests

  • As Asari Dokubo’s men move against protesters

In what many are alleging a tacit official endorsement from Abuja, the Nation’s capital, immediate past chairmen of 21 out of the 23 Local Government Areas in Rivers State staged a protest at their respective council areas on Monday in defiance of an order issued by the State Police Command.

The former council bosses, who are loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, protested in their local councils despite the Police advisory against protests.

In Buguma, the council headquarters of the Asari-Toru LGA, former Council boss, Onengiyeofori George and his supporters marched through the streets of the town, demonstrating their support for Wike and waving placards with inscriptions asking the police to continue occupying the council headquarters.

Some of the messages displayed by the protesters read thus; “Sim Fubara Can’t Continue to Act As He Likes”; “There’s No Vacancy in Asari-Toru Council”; “Fubara, You’re biting more than you can chew”; “Sim Fubara, You Won’t Succeed against Wike”; and “Police, continue occupying the Councils” among others.

However, available reports indicated that the peaceful protest almost took a dangerous turn as a group of men believed to be operatives of Asari Dokubo’s private military company, commonly known as Amama Soldiers, attempted to stop the demonstrators in their tracks.

However, the swift intervention of the Police restrained the Amama soldiers from causing any havoc, and the demonstrators were able to present their protest letter to the Police.

Similarly, Abonnema, the Akuku-Toru LGA council headquarters, also witnessed a protest by some groups of persons throwing their weight behind the Police’s continued closure of council premises.

Forefront News reports that the oil-rich state has been engulfed in crisis after Governor Sim Fubara directed the former Local Government Council Chairmen to exit from office following the expiration of their three-year tenure with Caretaker Committee Chairmen appointed to take over from them.

Consequently, the police took over the Council secretariats of the South-South state last Tuesday as the ex-council bosses refused to obey the governor’s order. In the wake of the crisis, three deaths were recorded even as the Police Command continued to prevent the appointed Caretaker chairmen from accessing their secretariats

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