Monday, May 25, 2020

Rivers community demands justice for doctor assaulted by Air Force airmen

THE people of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State have called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to order a probe into the physical assault on their daughter, Dr. Avwebo Otoide, by some airmen of the Nigerian Air Force.
Otoide, a medical doctor, who was on essential duty during the lockdown in Port Harcourt, was slapped in the face by NAF airmen before she was driven to an isolation centre in the Rivers State capital.
She was on her way to attend to a person in need of medical attention when she was stopped and assaulted by the airmen.
But the people of her area; Polobubo community, in a statement made available to our correspondent on Monday, demanded the arrest and prosecution of the airmen involved in Otoide’s unwarranted attack.
The statement signed by the President of Polobubo-Tsekelewu National Council, Mr. Ebilate Mac-Yoroki; and Secretary, Mr Midwest Kukuru, the community described the incident as inhuman and demanded immediate justice.
The community also demanded that President Buhari should initiate necessary action through the Defence Headquarters and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in order to get justice for the medical doctor.
“The people and leadership of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community, in Warri North council area of Delta State, have received the news of the inhuman, brutal and ungrateful treatment meted to one of our daughters, Dr. Avwebo Otoide, by some officials of the Nigerian Air Force in Port Harcourt recently, with shock and anger.
“The people and leadership of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community take serious exceptions to this inhumanity meted to their daughter, who did no more wrong than volunteering to serve humanity in Nigeria, at this most critical time in our history.
“We further feel alarmed by the attempt by the Nigerian Air Force authorities in Port Harcourt, which intended to terrify and intimidate her the more by attempting to sequester her into a supposed inquisition. This is military terrorism and we believe such should have no place in a civilised and democratic setting as we supposedly have in Nigeria.
“The foregoing being said, we, therefore, appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Commander-in-Chief of the Federation, to immediately order an independent inquiry into this case of absolute abuse of power by security officials, in this case, men of the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigeria Police.
“We demand the immediate investigation, the arrest of perpetrators, and their subsequent prosecution. The people and leadership of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community are of the opinion that should this be allowed to be swept under the carpet, then no life would be safe in our country and the sacrifices that we have made over the years, through our blood and the devastation of our environment by oil prospectors and producing companies would be doubly lost.
“We demand that Mr President give the directive to all the appropriate authorities, including the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19; the Headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force; the Police Force Headquarters; and the Defense Headquarters to take every appropriate step to ensure justice and closure,” the statement read.

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