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Ebonyi: Police Attack Protesting Labour Leaders

The Police in Ebonyi State yesterday attacked and beat up members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) who staged a peaceful protest in the state against the increase in pump price by the federal government.

The workers were intercepted near Pastoral Centre along the Abakaliki-Enugu Expressway as they were on the peaceful protest by a detachment of Police officers who proceeded to attack the workers.

The Police, it was gathered, tear gassed the workers ceaselessly and beat up leaders of the union including the Chairman Comrade Ikechukwu Nwafor who was seen rolling on the ground as the Police officers kicked and beat him.

He was later bundled into the waiting white Police Hilux van by four police officers and taken to the Police Headquarters in Abakaliki alongside about 15 other labour leaders.

The Police claimed the workers did not obtain Police clearance to carry out the protest, an allegation debunked by Comrade Nwafor.

The workers had gathered as early as 8am at their secretariat along the expressway and took off on the protest along the expressway.

On getting to the Pastoral Centre, the workers met a detachment of Police Officers who unleashed an attack the workers tear gassing them ceaselessly.

One of the Labour leaders, Comrade Greg Ishaya was seen at the police Station with minor injuries on his hands from the attack.

Comrade Ikechukwu Nwafor was in pain as he sustained serious knee injuries and was limping. He relied on the support of other labour leaders to walk when our reporter met him at the station after the attack.

The Police Commissioner in the State denied that the workers were attack adding that the police used minimal force to disperse the crowd adding that the protesters did not inform the Police before embarking on the protest.

But Comrade Nwafor debunked the allegation adding that the command duly informed the police of the protest.

He said, “We were on a peaceful demonstration against the increase in fuel pump price and electricity tariff when the police attacked us. We gave them a letter, I was calling the Commissioner and she didn’t pick my calls and we have evidence to that”

“What we were doing is a peaceful demonstration and all of a sudden the police came and attacked us. The police when we saw them we thought they were coming to protect us. They tear gassed us. They lifted me up and hit me on the ground and gave me a thorough beating. Five of them later lifted me up and threw into their Hilux van like a common criminal”.


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