DPO escapes lynching as Police, APC supporters clash in Rivers

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An attempt by the police in Rivers State to disrupt a rally organised by the All Progressives Congress in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state was resisted by supporters of the opposition party on Monday.
The APC supporters had earlier cautioned security operatives, who had earlier made an effort to stop party faithful from entering the Rumokoro Civic Centre, venue of the rally.
But the mammoth crowd at the rally became restive and uncontrollable when the Divisional Police Officer, Special Duties in Rumuokoro, Allwell Okwuonu, made his way to where some of the APC leaders in Obio/Akpor were seated.
Okwuonu came when the leader of the party in Obio/Akpor and Chief of Staff, Government Port Harcourt, Tony Okocha, was making his remark.
Angered by Okwuonu’s action, the crowd surged towards him and shoved him, even as some youths pelted him with several objects, including stones, sand and plastic chairs.
The DPO was immediately moved out of the venue in order to prevent him (Okwuonu) from being lynched by the angry supporters, who shouted, “Shame to the police.”
The APC supporters were, however, repelled by the sporadic gunshots into the air from the policemen, who came in about four patrol vans.
Some of the supporters, who were scared by the deafening sound of the gunshots, scampered for safety in order not to be hit by stray bullets.
However, it could not be ascertained if any casualty was recorded as of the time of filing this report.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Ahmad Mohammad, said he could not react immediately because he had yet to receive any brief on the incident in Etche and Obio/Akpor.

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