Abia govt condemns shooting of protesting students by police


Okezie Ikpeazu

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has condemned the alleged shooting of some protesting students of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, by the police yesterday.

It was gathered that the students were protesting against the alleged rape of their female colleague by a police operative attached to the Rapid Respond Squad (RRS).

The protest had created a traffic jam along the Aba-Owerri Road beside which the institution is located.

Reacting to the incident, Ikpeazu said it was not only completely unacceptable to the state government but also condemnable.

The governor, who reacted through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, said the shooting was excessive and uncalled, warning that it could aggravate an already tensed situation that could lead to collateral damages.

He said: “Shooting at unarmed students who were protesting the alleged sexual assault of one of them by a police officer is against all known and recognised rules of engagement by law enforcement officers who could have employed other means other than deadly force to disperse the protesting students.”

Ikpeazu consequently urged the State Police Commissioner and the Aba Area Commander to ensure that the officers involved in the shooting were identified and disciplined in line with extant police regulations.

He also urged the Commissioner to take steps to ensure that such display of disproportionate force doesn’t happen again.

He, however, enjoined the students to be disciplined and avoid taking the law into their hands while staging protests, adding that they must at all times exercise restraint when confronted by police officers who are on lawful duties.

“Under no circumstances must students confront police officers who are engaged in their lawful duties,” he said.

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