Police, others stop protest against Okorocha’s government in Owerri

Governor Rochas Okorocha

A combined team of police, army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has stopped a protest against the Rochas Okorocha administration in Imo State.The protest, tagged ‘Occupy Owerri’, which is expected to last for one week, was called by Imo People’s Action for Democracy (IPAD) against what they called “bad governance.”

Before 6:00 a.m. yesterday, patrol teams deployed at different directions at Egbu, Fire Service junction (Wethdral), Okigwe, Emmanuel College and Douglas roads, were combatant ready for any attempt to protest.Okorocha, who responded to the solidarity staged by his supporters, Rochas Mandate, said that his political detractors were against his successes.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, against the backdrop of prevented protest by coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the governor regarded the IPAD as only faceless group posting comments on social media.

The group had applied to the police and the DSS for permission to organise a peaceful rally from December 18 through 24. While DSS granted them permission, the police declined to grant it.However, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has backed the peaceful protest planned against Okorocha government.

HURIWA in a statement by its National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in Abuja against the backdrop of reports of police brutality in Imo State and totalitarian attempts by armed security forces to violently break-up the civil protest, condemned as primitive, retrogressive, unconstitutional and anti-people the plot by the Imo State Police Command to undermine the pro-democracy “Occupy Imo” campaign by supporters of genuine democracy and good governance.

Meanwhile, the Imo State Government has said that it will borrow N88.8 billion from external and internal sources to finance the 2018 budget.Governor Rochas Okorocha, who disclosed this yesterday during his 2018 budget proposal presentation at the Imo State House of Assembly, said that N80.5 billion loan would be sourced internally, while N8.8 billion would be obtained from external loans.

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