2023: ‘Obidients’ defy police tear gas in Ebonyi, continue march for Obi-Datti presidency

The Police in Ebonyi State, on Saturday, tear-gassed and dispersed residents who gathered in the capital Abakaliki to stage a one-million-man march in support of the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.

The supporters, however, quickly regrouped in another part of the city and continued with their march.

The Obidient movement, as the supporters are popularly called, had gathered at the Pastoral Centre, Abakaliki for the march when police stormed the area and dispersed them with teargas.

The incident caused human and vehicular traffic on the popular Old Enugu road in the capital city on Saturday morning.

One of the marchers, Steve Ugama, alleged that aside dispersing and tear-gassing the supporters, about five of his colleagues were arrested by the police.

He said: “This is inhuman and undemocratic. We have gathered here this morning for our peaceful march, all of a sudden, the police came and started tear-gassing us and arresting our people.

“They said we can’t hold the march, because Governor David Umahi asked them to stop us, that we can’t hold it. About four of our colleagues have been arrested. We need help here.”

The police are yet to react to the allegation.

When contacted, Mr. Chooks Okoh, aide to Governor Umahi said he was preparing a press statement.

“Give me some time. I will issue a press release on the matter and I will send it to you,” he said.

However, the Obi supporters later regrouped in another part of the town and continued with the march.

The marchers occupied mainly the Enugu-Abakaliki highway.

One of them, who pleaded anonymity, said: “They cannot stop us from exercising our right. We have the freedom of movement and association. This is a peaceful rally. We are not rioting and I don’t understand why the police will exhibit such brutality against the people.

“It is sad that this is happening in Ebonyi. This State is not the only one controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC). But if Umahi thinks he can intimidate the people, he is mistaken.”

– Media Report

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