Tension gripped residents of Owerri, the Imo State capital yesterday as a detachment of combat-ready policemen stormed Biafra insignia’s selling points along Wetheral road and arrested six persons.
An eyewitness told our correspondent that, the police detachment numbering over 50 in eight (8) Hilux trucks, stormed the Wetheral by Christ Church junction allegedly in search of merchants dealing in Biafra insignia between 8am and 8.40 am
According to the eyewitness’ account, the policemen who allegedly harassed early morning customers to the many newspaper stands in the area, did not say the crime of the people arrested, the sellers of Biafra insignia were their focus though.
Another eyewitness’ account by a Human Rights and Legal Group member, Evangelist Frank-Peace Duruobi said the police in a commando manner stormed the area and sparked-off undue panic in the name of looking for sellers of Biafra’s emblem, wondering why innocent and law abiding youngment were the focus of the police in the name of clamping down on agitators.
Duruobi said: “My question is: why did the police arrest those young men? Their crime perhaps was selling items made in Nigeria be it Biafra or not. And from all indications, the young men did not offend any known law of Nigeria. Government has failed these people by not providing jobs for Nigerian youths and most of these traders are graduates. By arresting and clamping on them, I fear that government is encouraging these young men to resort to crime. Those that enforce the law should not carry on as instruments of impunity and lawlessness.”
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem said he was not aware of any such development as his office had not been briefed to that effect.