A’Ibom Govt Bars Protesters From Venue | Independent Newspapers Limited
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A’Ibom Govt Bars Protesters From Venue

Posted: Aug 10, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Idongesit Ashameri UYO

The anti corruption rally organized by Buhari Friends organization in Akwa Ibom State over the weekend ended in deadlock as the state  government allegedly denied the body venue to address its  members after South-South Zonal Rally Against Corruption in  Nigeria.

The group after the rally converge at the Unity Park along Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo to address members after several hours of street walk, only  to be ordered out of the venue on the basis of ‘order  from Above’, and security men early deployed to ensure order at the venue, withdrawn on same order.

National Coordinator of the group, Saint Athanasius Okon, while addressing newsmen to lay bare his disappointment said that the organization decided to begin the programme from Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, since it is the group’s  South-South Zone headquarters. He reported that  the organization had paid the money the government asked for the usage of the venue (Unity Park). Government officials, according to him   asked the group to write a letter to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism for permission to use the venue, which they did.

He noted that there was nothing they did not do as law-abiding citizens to secure the venue.“We did event in this Park before. We paid money then as well as for today’s own. We sent a letter to the governor of this  state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel inviting him as a guest of honour. We did not let the government out of the arrangement.

“The officials asked us to write a letter to the Permanent Secretary for permission, we did. So, there was nothing we did not do as  law-abiding citizens: we followed due process. So, they were  trying to play politics by telling us to come back in the guise that the commissioner was not around.

“These were the  same people in the office that asked us to draft a letter  and write it to the permanent secretary; surprisingly, they  picked phone and called us to address it to the  commissioner.“Our people went back and paid money without mentioning BFON and they gave us receipt immediately,” he said.

He lamented that government action indirectly signals Akwa Ibom government stands tall for corruption in the country.“This is an unnecessary embarrassment to us:  Nigerians want this culture of impunity, this culture of embezzlement, culture of stealing commonwealth of the people  to stop: we are tired of it.” he said.  Effort to reach the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem proved  fruitless as calls put to his line were not attended