Rivers political crisis: Shot Senator flown abroad for treatment

Posted by News Express | 13 January 2014 | 3,429 times

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Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Magnus Abe, is now in Britain for medical attention. He was flown out last night after his condition was stabilised by doctors in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

News Express had reported yesterday afternoon that Senator Abe, who represents Rivers South East zone, would be flown abroad following injuries he sustained after allegedly being hit by rubber bullets fired by policemen sent by State Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, to stop an All Progressives Congress (APC) rally organised by the Save Rivers Movement at the College of Arts and Science, Rumuola, Port Harcourt.

News Express had quoted a senior state APC official as saying that trouble started when “trigger-happy policemen stormed the APC rally and started shooting rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse the crowd.”

The source said that “one of the rubber bullets hit Senator Abe, who fell to the ground and would have died instantly if his aides had not quickly grabbed him and rushed him to a hospital in D/Line. It is reported that the case of the Senator is very critical and arrangement is being made by Governor Amaechi to fly him out for medical attention if he recovers from coma.”

As also reported yesterday by News Express, the Chief of Staff to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Sir Tony Okocha, was equally shot on his legs. The police has, however, denied using bullets to stop the rally, saying it only fired teargas and employed minimal force.

The incident came barely one week after the bombing, last Monday, of the High Court in Ahoada and razing of the High Chief Magistrate’s Court in Okehi, both in Rivers State – acts which the Nigerian Bar Association has attributed to politics and given the federal government one month to probe.

The political atmosphere in Rivers State has been charged for several months as a result of the quarrel between Governor Amaechi and President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife patience. The situation worsened following the defection, last November 26, of Amaechi and his loyalists from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC.

•Photo shows Senator Magnus Abe in his hospital bed in Port Harcourt before being flown abroad.

Source: News Express

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