The police have given reasons why its officers attacked protesters protesting against the government of Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state.
Andrew Enwerem, the spokesperson of the command told premium Times that the protesters did not have the permission to protest.
“The duty of police is to ensure security of lives and property, if they found themselves in friction with police that is not out of place.”
“Teargas is meant for human beings and not meant for animals. Before you protest you must get permission to March otherwise that will amount to unlawful assembly.”
NAIJ.com had earlier reported that Nigeria police have allegedly attacked protesters on a peaceful protest against the Rochas Okorocha government in Imo state.
The protest was called by Imo People’s Action for Democracy (IPAD) against the policies of the Governor Okorocha administration.
The protest, tagged ‘Occupy Owerri’ is expected to last for one week.
The protesters are protesting the building of statues in Owerri, the state capital when the state is still owing workers salaries and pensions.
They are also opposed to the appointment of the governor’s sister as Commissioner for Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment, Premium Times reports.
The group had earlier written to the police and the State Security Service for security during the rally.
The SSS gave approval for the rally to hold but the police refused, asking that the rally be shifted till after the yuletide period.
The group however, refused to shift the date, arguing that the police have no right to stop it from protesting.
The coordinator of the group Aku Obidinma, said its members were attacked by police as they commenced the rally along Wethral Road Owerri.
“We peacefully commenced our protest this morning from Wethral Road Roundabout in Owerri, Imo State, and were accosted by heavily armed policemen who demanded we stop because the commissioner of police did not approve the rally”
“We insisted that we must continue since the law did not say we needed his permission before we could embark on a peaceful protest. As we continued our match, the police descended on us and started beating up the protesters, firing tear gas, confiscated our placards and manhandled even the minors amongst us.”
Continuing the group said: “We wish to inform the world that Imo state has unfortunately become a fascist state where freedom of expression and assembly is no longer guaranteed.”
“We say this because of the ugly incident that happened this morning where the Imo state government used the police to brutally attack peaceful protesters.”
Meanwhile, Aku Obidinma, the coordinator of the group said police fired tear gas at the protesters, beat them up and also confiscated their placards as they began the peaceful protest.
NAIJ.com had reported that Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a man God sent to prevent Nigeria from collapsing, while congratulating the president on his 75th birthday.
Okorocha who made the comment in a statement sent to journalists on Sunday, December 17, also expressed confidence that Buhari will get more votes in the 2019 presidential election than he did in 2015 polls. He boasted that the president will win majority votes in the southeast region of the country.
Nigerians ask President Buhari for special Christmas Gifts on NAIJ.com TV: