Posted by News Express | 23 January 2014 | 3,534 times
The fog surrounding the London medical trip of Senator Magnus Abe, the Senator representing Rivers South East zone and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), has finally been cleared.
There had been controversy over whether Abe was really shot during a political rally penultimate Sunday (January 12) in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, or is just dramatising the entire episode with the connivance of Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
Abe in a letter to his fellow senators read yesterday by Senate President David Mark during a plenary session painted a graphic picture of how he was shot and alleged a calculated attempt by the Federal Government to kill him.
In his seven-page letter Abe complained that both the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, and the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, have been refusing to pick his calls in his efforts to rub minds with them on the macabre dance going on in the state.
He explained that he was not at the venue of the January 12 rally organised by the Save Rivers Movement at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science (CAS) in Rumuola as at time the violence erupted but had to rush down to the scene when he heard that children and others who had come for the rally were scampering for shelter and that even churches in the vicinity of the rally ground could not hold scheduled services because of the high dose of tear gas in the neighbourhood.
Part of the letter reads as follows:
“When I arrived at the gate of CAS, I saw the Nigeria Police in full battle formation with armoured personnel carriers and scores of mobile policemen armed to the teeth.
“The officers informed me that they were acting on ‘orders from above’ and that I should call the Commissioner of Police or the Inspector General of Police. I was busy trying to call the CP and the IG, when one of the policemen walked close to me and whispered, ‘Oga, leave now, leave now, they said we should take you down’.
“At this stage, I became apprehensive and reminded the officers that I am a serving senator in Nigeria. In fact, I went close to the senior officer and said, ‘I am following you and if anything happens to me, it will be in your presence and before God’.
“It was when I was standing with him that the attack began and a teargas canister was shot directly at my feet. He quickly moved away while more teargas canisters were fired directly at me in quick succession. It was at this stage that I was hit by something in my chest. I screamed, ‘I have been shot’ Friends and staff who were with me, realizing what had occurred, rushed me to my vehicle.
“However, the left side of my chest where I was hit was very painful and inflamed. My staff decided that we should rush to the nearest doctor. We were able to reach my doctor, Dr. Mackay Anyanwu, who stabilised me at his clinic and transferred me to the Kesley Harrison Hospital, from where a decision was taken that I proceed to London immediately for further cardiology evaluation.
“My heart repeatedly fluctuated so much so that it triggered the alarms in the hospital and they decided that I should be moved to the Cardiology Unit at the London Bridge Hospital.
“The consultant cardiologist at the London Bridge Hospital determined that the site of impact on the left side of my chest was directly in line with my heart and there was a risk related to the distribution of kinetic energy from the high velocity impact to my chest.
“It is the Federal Government that deployed the Police and gave them orders that I should be taken down. I have heard that the Rivers State CP has alleged that the police were chasing criminals on that day and that I was running from the scene and that I ran into the church to evade arrest.
“I have also heard that Mr. Mbu said they have no rubber bullets in the state command. It is clear that Mr. Mbu is talking with the confidence of a Governor General; who knows that nothing will happen, and nothing would have happened even if I were killed.
“The decision to take my life comes from the highest levels of the Federal Government and nobody will be questioned or punished even if I am killed because I am one of those that have stated and I want to repeat here, that I will cross over to APC on the floor of the Senate.”
Senator Abe’s letter helped to thrown light on the true situation of events on a day when the Rivers crisis led to a commotion on the floor of the Senate and resulted to senators Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) and James Manager (Delta South) almost exchanging blows in the heat of emotion. After the tension was defused by other senators, the lawmakers continued their deliberation on the issue and summoned IGP Abubakar to appear before them to explain what really is going on in Rivers State – though without giving him a date on which to do so.
•Photo shows Senator Magnus Abe.
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