Rivers protest: Police deny death of IPOB members, confirm 65 arrests

By The Citizen

Rivers State Police Command has denied reports in some media that some persons died during the pro Biafra protest by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB on Friday., adding that 65 of the protesters were arrested by the Police.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, in the state, DCP Ahmed Magagi said the timely intervention of the Police saved the situation from recording misfortunes.

He said the protesters did not secure Nyesom police permit before the protest, noting that they took the laws into their hands.

'Some suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) took laws into their hands, organized and staged an unlawful protest in the Port Harcourt Metropolis, thereby disturbing the peace of the State, disrupting free flow of traffic, preventing law abiding citizens from going about their lawful businesses and caused untold hardship to the generality of the populace. In an effort to disperse the rampaging group from carrying out their unlawful intention, reasonable force like Teargas was used to disperse them.

Others left lawfully in obedience to our directives, the disobedient ones continued with the intention of actualizing their illegal purpose. Consequently, about sixty-five (65) of them were arrested, at different points within the metropolis, being suspected members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Items recovered from them include: some flags bearing the inscription of IPOB and other incriminating items.

The suspects arrested have made useful statements to the Police and Investigation is ongoing.

Further developments will be communicated to you in due course.

But for the intervention and proactive measures put in place by officers and men of the Command, led by my humble self, what would have turned into a total breakdown of law and order was professionally and tactically managed.

It is indeed saddening to note that before embarking on the said illegal protest march, there was no official communication to the command, which in itself is reprehensible, condemnable and unfortunate.

The Police as an Agency of Government has the statutory responsibility to protect life and property at any given time, which was what we practically and professionally did yesterday that forestalled what would have been a total carnage in the State.

However, it should noted that men of the Command deployed for the operation were professional and used minimum force in containing the protesters. Note that no casualty was recorded, no death recorded.