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Saturday 13 February 2016


Governor Rochas Okorocha

There is a wise saying that 'when a mother goat eats, its kids watches her. Similarly, the evil seeds sowed by President Muhammadu Buhari by the sordid, inhumane and brutal manner he handled Pro-Biafra protesters in the country, appears to have started bearing evil fruits as the same fate has befallen peacefully protesting Medical Doctors who demonstrated on Wednesday 3rd February against the concession of Public Health institutions by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State.
The protesting Medical Practitioners whom it was reported, to have gathered at the somnolent town of Orlu Roundabout, Imo state, was thrown into chaos and mourning following the lethal shooting and death of one of their colleagues by a Police officers at the order of Governor Okorocha of the state.
According to reports from Vanguard, the deceased Dr. Bende Azudialo who was a consultant Family physician at the Federal Medical Center(FMC) in Owerri was shot in the head.

Though, commiserating with the family of the late Doctor, I wish to emphatically state that it is no longer news in Nigeria to see or witness the constant brutal murder of innocent and unarmed protesters by the Nigerian security operatives as Pro-Biafra protesters have been suffering similar fate in recent times.
It is however very sad and unfortunate that even when the authorities were duly informed before the peaceful protest by the Doctors, they still went ahead to attack them. One of the colleague of the deceased, Dr. Darlington Akukwu had said that the Directorate of State Security, the Federal Road Safety Corp and the Commissioner of Police as well as other security agencies in the state were informed hence the disappointment when one of their colleagues was fatally shot.
Dr. Akukwu further explained; "We processed peacefully until we got to Orlu Road Roundabout, the Police barricaded the road and when we tried to explain our mission to them, they started firing tear gas canisters. One of them later fired a shot that killed Dr. Azudialo".
Following the statement above, one would be forced to ask if the Medical Doctors were wielding any dangerous weapon to warrant such treatments. Were they also protesting against the unity and territorial integrity of the country as was said in the case of Pro-Biafra agitators?
To display the height of impunity, since the unfortunate incident, neither the Nigerian security agencies nor the Imo State Government has come out publicly to condemn the act or express suitable penitence or offered to identify, fish out and punish the trigger-happy Policeman who fired the shot that instantly ended the life of Dr. Azudialo. Governor Okorocha in his part has rather kept mum, feigning ignorance of the incident that took place in his state.
It is pertinent and note-worthy that since the arrival of Buhari into Aso-rock Villa, the country has enveloped into crisis and anarchy. There is no more respect or sanctity of human life. There has been an increase to the shooting, killing and injuring of innocent and defenceless citizens, unlawfully using security agents who should be protecting them, to rudely violate laws, infringe on human rights of the citizens, disobey due process and remand suspects beyond the limit of the law. All this has been the trend since President Buhari assumed office at the centre.
The constant and incessant neglect and abuse of human rights of citizens has reached to a point where Human Right Commissions needs to act before it gets  worse that it could be extremely difficult to repress.
Protest, civil disobedience including picketing is an inalienable right of the people, while their rights to demand for justice, equity and accountability on one hand and the right to self-determination on another are enforceable under the UN and AU regulations or mechanisms to which Nigeria is signatory to.
Buhari, Okorocha and others has continually repressed and violated the rights of the same citizens who had voted them into power using the state security apparatus such as the Army, Navy and the Mobile Police.
Solomon Arase -IGP 

 The Nigerian Police Force(NPF) under the inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase has shamelessly failed in their duty of safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizens of the country despite being the largest officially armed body in Nigeria controlling over 30 percent of defence budgets every year. If the Nigerian Police Force, Army and other Security bodies in the country cannot control peaceful and non-violent protesters/picketers without mass killing them, is it the dreadful and rampaging Boko Haram insurgents that they can control?
It is quite sad and unfortunate that Nigeria of 21st Century under the supposed learned and educated Commandants and Generals with University degrees and masters degrees still applies excessive or lethal force to control or disperse non-violent and peaceful protesters and picketers. Storming picketing scenes with live bullets and guns, shooting on defenceless protesters are height of act of brutality. By using the phrase "maximal clampdown on protesters" which literally means; "shoot-at-sight, IGP Solomon Arase has shown that he is unfit to continue heading the NPF.
Despite the existence in the NPF of 'the Anti-riot Police Department' or 'Mobile Police Force', the constant killing of protesters has extensively exposed the Force as the Police Force of the yore of incurable crudity.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Civil Liberty Organizations has made abundantly clear, various techniques and tools designed globally for crowd or riot control as the case may be, without resorting to the use of deadly weapons, force or violence. Older gadgets or tools for crowd or riot control are batons and whips; which are still very much in use till date. While the modern crowd control tools or gadgets includes tear gas and pepper spray(but not firing them indiscriminately), rubber bullets and electric teasers. There are also long acoustic devices, water cannons, armoured personnel

carriers, armoured vehicles equipped with tear gas and mild hot water sprayers, aerial surveillance, police dogs, police horses, and so on. Also part of the modern crowd control tool-kits are protective devices such as riot helmets, face visors, body armour (such as vests, neck protectors, knee pads, etc), gas masks and riot shields. A number of security electronic devices have also been designed for modern crowd control. They include closed circuit television, tracking and detective devices, etc.

It is sad and most disappointing to observe that apart from the indiscriminate firing of tear gas during protests, none of the foregoing was deployed and used, instead live bullets, ammunition and open and close range shootings were "maximally applied" in accordance with IGP Arase's murderous directive.
Many citizens are shocked by this act of inhumane treatment reminiscent of the dark days of military despotism and the return of our society to executive lawlessness, impunity and infringement of human rights and civil liberties.
President Buhari, Governor Okorocha and the Security Agencies should not only be cautioned but brought before Human Right Courts to answer for this frequent  human rights violations.

Written  By  Ucheagu Chukwuemeka Chimerue.
Edited By  Ikechukwu  Nwaorisa

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