COVID-19: Agony As Police Kills Three, scores Wounded Over Extension Of Stay-at-home In Delta

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

At least three persons were reportedly shot by police while scores sustained various degree of injuries as a result of protests by residents of Sapele, who thronged the streets to express discontent against the two weeks lockdown extension by the Delta State government over COVID-19.

The protest which was originally embarked by hundreds of women in Sapele Local Government Area of the state, drew interest of youths and became free for all, culminating in clashes with the lockdown order enforcers.

The Nigerian Voice gathered that the victims, a woman and two youths are alive and responding to treatment, were shot by members of certain vigilante group in the heat of the violence protest.

The women, who were protesting the two weeks lockdown and the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa decried what they regarded as insensitivity of the state government in addressing the compelling hunger induced by the lockdown and now with curfew in the state.

The protesters had defied the stay-at-home order, lamenting the economic hardship induced by the lockdown and the worsening absence of palliatives from the state government to cushion the effect of the lockdown.

Our Correspondent learnt that the women had stormed the popular Olypia Roundabout in Sapele to vent their anger over the extension, when rampaging youth protesters, mixed with hoodlums hijacked the protest, just when the Sapele Council Chairman, Hon Eugene Inoaghan, was addressing the protesting women. .

The hoodlums who hijacked the protest were alleged to have pelted the council chairman and other members of his entourage with stones, creating a tensed atmosphere and compelled the Police escort in the Council boss's entourage to teargas the protesting mob.

The situation turned violent and to disperse the rampaging youths, some vigilante members reportedly shot into the crowd and hit the victims.

The hoodlums subsequently took advantage of the situation to invade shops where they allegedly carted away goods belonging to traders who were observing the lockdown.

When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onowakpoyeya, confirmed the violence protest, saying that some of the hoodlums had been arrested by the Sapele Area Command.