From Okey Sampson (Umuahia), Chijioke Agwu (Abakaliki), and Adanna Nnamani (Abuja)

There was pandemonium in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, yesterday morning as the police tried to disrupt a solidarity march organised for the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The police, which stormed the Pastoral Centre in Mile 50 axis of the city, barricaded the area with their trucks before firing teargas canisters to disperse the supporters who were preparing to begin the march round the city.

No life was lost in the fracas, but Sunday Sun gathered that some persons sustained injuries, while scampering for safety while some others were arrested.

Even some physically challenged persons who were part of the Obi supporters were not spared as they inhaled teargas shot at the Obi supporters.

But the supporters surged into the Pastoral Centre, restrategised before carrying on with their march.

It was gathered that the police later apologised for the disruption, after superior authorities, including the state government intervened.

The supporters later moved from Pastoral Centre to G-Hostel junction from where they moved to Spera Ndeo junction to Vanco and back to Pastoral Centre.

Speaking after the protest, the Ebonyi State Coordinator of Coalition for Peter Obi (CPO), Dr John Agha, commended Obi supporters for holding the rally.

He described as ill-motivated the attempt to disrupt the rally by policemen and urged the people to remain resolute in their support for Peter Obi, describing him as the only candidate that would take the country out of bad leadership.

However, the state government in a reaction denied insinuation in some quarters that it ordered the police to disrupt the exercise.

Special Assistant (SA) to Governor Dave Umahi, Mr Chooks Oko, in a statement said: “Executive Governor of Ebonyi State is certainly not aware of any disruption of any gathering as he didn’t order any.

“He is a democrat who believes firmly in the rule of law. He wishes every contending politician the very best and will insist on a level playing ground for all. If it is true that the police dispersed people, the answer will surely rest with the police.”

The Labour Party (LP) also condemned the police attack on Obedient supporters in Ebonyi State, stating that it considers it as a declaration of war.

LP warned the All Progressive Congress (APC) to be conscious of the fact that no one has the monopoly of violence.

In a statement at yesterday, LP’s National Publicity Secretary, Arabambi Abayomi, said: “As violence and rascality is fast becoming the official policy and culture in the Nigerian political system: LP considers the attack on LP/Obedient supporters in Ebonyi State, a declaration of war. The APC should be conscious of the fact that no one has the monopoly of violence.

“LP condemns the unprovoked attack with guns on the supporters of LP in Ebonyi State by the Nigeria Police on behalf of the ruling APC government in Ebonyi State.

“It is now very clear that APC is set to use its hidden and unhidden cells in the groups of the bandits and killers it has kept nurturing in troubling the peace and the well-being of Nigeria against the marked opposition Labour Party as the only political party that gives APC worries and fears for the daily increasing level of massive and wide support LP enjoys across the nation.

“It will be sad if the Nigeria Police either knowingly or unintentionally allow governments to rubbish the little gains it has been able to record in the minds of the people for a better professionalism.”

Meanwhile, the one million-man march embarked upon by supporters of Peter Obi yesterday literally grounded Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, causing heavy vehicular gridlock.

Supporters of the LP presidential candidate had gathered at the Abia Tower axis of the Enugu/Port Harcourt expressway in the early hours of yesterday.

From there, they marched for a distance of about three kilometers to Michael Okpara square.

The crowd marched through Library Avenue/Akanu Ibiam Road popularly known as Bank Road as they made their way to the City Centre.

Obi’s supporters who took part in the march cut across party lines as people from different political parties, businessmen and youths were involved in the march.

Some of the supporters carried placards with such inscription, “INEC please allow God to use you”, “Obi-dient all the way”, “Vote out bad leaders”, and “Nigerians take back your country”.

Some of those who spoke after the march said their support for Peter Obi would not end with the one million-man march, but would stretch to polling boots where they would cast their votes for him.

The post Rally: Police shoot teargas to stop Obi supporters in Ebonyi appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news