Press Statement: Re: Forceful Dispersing of the Occupy Imo Peaceful Rally through the “Operation Show of Force” by the Imo State Government and the Imo State Police Command .
Re: Forceful Dispersing of the Occupy Imo Peaceful Rally through the “Operation Show of Force” by the Imo State Government and the Imo State Police Command.
The Igbo National Council (INC) wish to express her displeasure and disappointment on the necked, brutal and reckless use of force to disperse the Imo Peoples Action for Democracy (IPAD) organized “Occupy Imo Peaceful Rally” by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) at the order of the Imo State Commissioner of Police – CP Chris Ezike in conspiracy with Governor Anayo Rochas Okorocha on Monday, 18th December 2017 in Owerri Imo State.
At the early hours of Monday, 18th December 2017, over one hundred anti-government protesters gathered at the Weatheral Road roundabout by Emmanuel College Owerri been the starting point of the Occupy Imo Peaceful Rally. Within thirty minutes of the peaceful rally, Nigerian Police numbering over one hundred which had besieged the location since 5am moved against the protesters and ordered that the protest should stop, when we asked to know why, one of the police man on plain dress told us that the Imo State Commissioner of Police has instructed them to stop the rally on the ground that no Police Permission was granted for the Rally.
Why the organizers of the rally was discussing with some of the Police, a team of dreaded looking Police men moved of the protesters and forcefully dispossessed us our Banners, Placards, Anayo Rochas Okorocha statue and other protest materials and also physically assaulted some leading members of the protest which include but not limited to, Hon Uche Onyeaguocha – former member of Federal House of Representatives and leading civil Rights activist in Nigeria, Chilos Godsent – President of Igbo National Council (INC)m Barr Che Oyinatunmba – Spoke person of the Imo Mass Movement (IMM), Aku Obidinma – President of Imo Billie Initiative and Coordinator of IPAD, Anthony Osuoha – CEO of CRUX, Mrs. Marjorie Ezihe-Osuoha – Secretary of IPAD and many other activists.
INC noted that this morning, the Governor of Imo State and the Imo State Commissioner of Polioce has launched “Operation Show of Forcer” which saw over one hundred heavily armed military men, over two hundred heavily armed police men, DSS, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps etc patrolling major strets of Owerri.
According to source, the Operation Show of Force was launched to forcefully disperse and maim members of the Occupy Imo Peaceful Rally.
Consequent upon the above, the Igbo National Council (INC), rose from an emergency meeting this afternoon and resolved as follows:
That INC has passed a Vote of No Confidence on Governor Anayo Rochas Okorocha and CP Chris Ezike – the Imo State Commissioner of Police.
That INC will launch Operation Rochas Must Go from January 2018.
That the Inspector General of Police (IGP) should immediately demote and redeploy CP Chris Ezike before he cause avoidable anarchy in Imo State.