by Oge Okonkwo
The Rivers State Police Command has denied allegations that an operative shot and wounded a member of the National Assembly, Magnus Abe.
The command made this statement through its spokesman, Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, (DSP) to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt.
He told NAN that the police did not dispense any bullet while dispersing a rally by Save Rivers Movement on Sunday.
He said the group was at the state College of Arts and Science for the rally when they were dispersed because they did not obtain a police permit.
“I can confirm to you that Sen. Magnus Abe was not shot. The police did not expend any single bullet while dispersing the crowd.
“It is not true. The police did not shoot the senator, we only used minimum force to disperse the crowd at the venue of the rally,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Rivers Government has alleged that Abe was shot by the police at the venue of the rally.
Mrs Ibim Semenitari, the Commissioner for information and Communications, made the accusation in a statement on Sunday in Port Harcourt.
“Today’s attack on members of the Save Rivers Movement, a non governmental association, at the College of Arts and Science, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, Rivers State and especially the unprovoked shooting of Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, the senator representing Rivers South East senatorial district, is cause for worry and an indication of the length that the PDP is willing to go to silence opposing views.
“Rivers State Government therefore reiterates its call for the re-deployment of CP Mbu from Rivers State before he turns the state into a graveyard because of his intolerance and unprofessional behaviour,’’ she said.
The commissioner assured that the state government would continue to protect the interest of the people at all times.
“We appeal to our people to remain law abiding and not to take the laws into their own hands as we promise to continue to use all legitimate and legal means to guarantee the safety of our people and their rights to exist in Nigeria,’’ she said.
The Press Secretary to Sen. Abe, Mr Honour Sirawoo, said a rubber bullet hit Abe on the chest and was taken to hospital for treatment.
He said Abe had gone to supervise the preparations for the rally when the incident occurred at about 9.00 am on Sunday.
Dr Mckay Anyanwu, Medical Director of Krisany Hospital, where Abe was rushed to for treatment, told newsmen that the senator was brought to the hospital in a state of shock caused by low blood pressure.
“He was unable to talk or eat, and he was feeling restless as a result of traumatic shock.
“The implication is that there is haemorrhage; this is a blood trauma, it is not a sharp one,’’ he said.