Tuesday, July 9, 2019 11:01 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A funeral procession turned ugly in Rumuosi, a suburb of Obio-Akpor local government area of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Monday with the killing of a young man while another was injured.
It was learnt that the procession which was hijacked by hoodlums was for burial of one Aleruchi Woko, who was killed during a protest over the deplorable state of Nkpolu Junction on the East-West road in Nkpolu, last November.
According to an eyewitness, the incident happened at about 9.30 am when some youths who had gone to carry the corpse of late Aleruchi Woko at a mortuary in Rumuosi, began robbing shop owners and residents with machetes.
The incident resulted into panic as residents and shop owners quickly lock up their homes and shops and scampered for safety.
“Some Policemen who witnessed the suspected hoodlums wearing black T-shirts and black trousers and clutching sharp machetes while robbing traders of their wares began shooting at them. Gun shots were heard in and around Nkpolu community. Some of Tricycle riders drove recklessly as part of the burial procession,” the eyewitnes said.
Members of the Nkpolu community have been protesting and calling for government’s attention to the flooded Npkolu junction on the East-West road in Port Harcourt since last year.
When contacted over the incident, the Community Development Committee Chairman of Nkpolu Community, Achinike Orubuogwu, said: “The young man killed by the Police and the other one nursing bullet wounds are not indigenes of the community, but sympathizers who came to join us when went to the mortuary to carry the corpse of our brother.”
The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, told our correspondent that the Command had gathered enough intelligence report that there would be security breach by hoodlums who would cash on the burial of the late Woko and had to deploy officers and men to forestall their plans.
Meanwhile, the Community Development Committee Chairman of Nkpolu Community, Achinike Orubuogwu had issued a 2-week ultimatum to the State and Federal Government to start repairing the bad spots on the Nkpolu section of the East/West Road.
Mr Orubuogwu said the ultimatum start counting from Tuesday after the burial of a 26-year-old Woke who was shot dead by security operatives during a similar protest that turned violent at Nkpolu on November 2018.
Also speaking on the issue, the CDC Chairman of Nkpolu Community, Orubuogwu told our correspondent that the community will shut-down Nkpolu section of East-West road with another protest if government fails to mobilize to site.
On his part, Chairman, Civil Society Organizations in Rivers State, Enefa Georgewill , said it is disheartening that the police is allegedly shielding its personnel indicted in the killing of Woke.
Mr Georgewill said people of the community will continue to demand justice for the family of the deceased.