The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has condemned the Rivers State Police for dispersing the newly-elected teachers who gathered at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to receive their deployment letters.
The teachers, numbering 13,000, were invited to the stadium by the state government to receive their letters of postings and to be addressed by the state Commissioner for Education, Alice Lawrence-Nemi.
While some of the teachers, who came into the stadium as early as 7.30am, were chased out by the police, others that tried to gain entrance into the stadium were stopped from entering the arena.
Speaking, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Mr. Debo Adeniran expressed worry over the high of impunity and the excesses of the police in Rivers State.
He said, “It is becoming worrisome that the police, who are paid from taxpayers’ money, could turn around to constitute menace to the people they are to protect. These are teachers who came for their posting letters. What happened to freedom of association in Nigeria, even if they are there to protest? When has it become a crime to protest against the actions of the President? The impunity and excesses of the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu with his men is becoming unbearable and they must be called to order. Many of our leaders have derailed the democracy.
The other day the same police, barred some youths from going on a project inspection with Governor Rotimi Amaechi on the excuse that the youths might have been hired by the state government to protest against the President. What if the youths protest against the President? It is high time the Presidency realised that we are running a democratic government where the rule of law and the fundamental human rights of the people must be protected. “
The human rights crusader however called on Nigerians to rise up in defence of democracy before anarchy finally takes over.
Media Officer, CACOL
26 September, 2013