Murder: Soldiers Foil Protest In Delta, Arrest Leaders | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Murder: Soldiers Foil Protest In Delta, Arrest Leaders

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 at 4:22 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Felix Igbekoyi, Asaba

THE peaceful protest at Oghara, Ethiope West Local Council of Delta State, over the gruesome murder of Comrade Benson Ogedegbe, the chairman of the local vigilance group by men suspected to be soldiers from the 19th Battalion on Tuesday, June 23, has taken another dimension.

The protest was aborted following the arrest of four of the organisers.

They were said to have been whisked away by the soldiers to unknown destination.

The posters and banners which were hung in strategic places at Oghara in preparation for the peaceful protest which was called by a group, Oghara Centre for Justice and Development (OCJD), were removed by heavily armed soldiers who drove round the town in Sports Utility Vehicles in a show of force.

The Coordinator of OCJD and the Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor, identified two of the four detainees as Mr. Lawrence Eyaufe and Ejiro Efetobo.

Ugolor demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the marchers, vowing that the people will continue to engage in peaceful protest.

“We are calling on the Nigeria Army to release the protesters. The army will be held accountable if anything happens to them. OCJD and ANEEJ will continue to work together until justice prevails. We will report to Amnesty International and the United Nations,’’ he threatened.

Mrs. Endurance Ogedegbe, the grief-stricken widow, dressed in black,  at the local police station with two of her children said that she came out to be part of the march in a desperate attempt to compel the authorities to bring the killers to book especially when she was yet to figure out the reason for the militarisation of Oghara and the detention of Lawrence and Ejiro whose whereabouts was undisclosed by the gun-toting soldiers.

She added that she went to the police station to find out if the detainees were in police custody as permitted by law only to be told that they were not there.

A policeman who would not want his name in print said that the protesters were not taken to the station by the soldiers and could no volunteer and information on their whereabouts.