Police this morning in Abuja indiscriminately fired tear gas at demonstrators protesting the impunity in Rivers State and abuse of office by Mbu Joseph Mbu, the Commissioner of Police.
The protesters, led by the Executive Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) and a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dino Melaye, numbered about 100, but the police responded with an overwhelming army of over 200 anti-riot policemen.
All of them appeared to be battle-ready, and some of their number had earlier condoned off the Federal Secretariat venue of the planned protest.
Determined to carry out their action, the ACN protesters decided to march from the organization’s office to the Secretariat, but met the unyielding police blockade. The police over zealously fired tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, which resulted in a stampede and some protesters receiving injuries. Others simply fainted.
Melaye denounced the situation in Rivers as “endemic, systemic and becoming contagious.” He called on Nigerians to show courage in their response to it.
“We must do everything to rescue this country from the hands of these economic cankerworms,” he said. “There is intimidation, incessant arrests, threats and assassination attempts on my life. But for me, I am resolute because the battle to deliver this country from economic cankerworms, financial vultures and inept leadership, as I have repeatedly said, is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.”
He urged Nigerians to creep out of their cocoons and become agents of change.
“We need to call a bloodless revolution that will transform this nation from the hands of these economic cankerworms and financial scavengers,” the CAN leader said, describing Nigeria as not only sick, but also suffering from a dreadful continental abnormality.
“In an unjust society, silence is a crime,” he stressed. “This is the time in the history of Nigeria where silence is no longer golden. People must come out and speak because the day you stop eating is the day you start dying. Where dictatorship becomes legalized, revolution becomes a right.”
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