Scores of women embarked on a protest on Thursday in Rivers State over the alleged arrest of the Liaison Officer to the State Governor, Nathan Menabere, and six others by some security agents suspected to be soldiers in Ogu, Ogu/Bolo LGA in Rivers State.
The protesters, who were clad in black attire, said the six persons arrested by military men were members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogu/Bolo LGA.
Some of the women displayed placards with inscriptions like ‘We say no to intimidation’, ‘Oh! Security agencies’, ‘Army, release our innocent brothers’, ‘Stop raping the peace of Ogu’, ‘Why the Intimidation?’
Calling for the immediate release of the arrested persons, the leader of the protesting women, Mrs. Christiana Tamunobereton-Ari, decried the action of the security agents.
According to her, a group of soldiers invaded Ogu about 1am, broke into some houses and arrested the affected persons without any reason.
The leader of the protesters, who is the Vice Chairman of Ogu/Bolo LGA, insisted that the arrest of their brothers by the military had a political undertone, saying, “There is peace in our area; why the arrest of innocent persons?
“We are here to let the nation know what is happening in Ogu. We are a peaceful community. Last night, some military men came into our community and picked some of our people.
“They broke into their houses and arrested them; they did not even report to the security agencies in our place. As it stands, over seven people have been arrested.
“We are condemning this act of intimidation and we call on the military to stop this unlawful arrest and release our people.”
Lamenting the alleged unlawful arrest of her husband, Mrs. Fyne Nathan, explained that she was forced to open the door at gunpoint.
She said, “The military men came to our house while we were sleeping, around 1am. They knocked the door and we refused to open the door, because we don’t know who was knocking.
“We asked who they were and they said they were military men. I refused to open the door because it is late in the night. One of the military men opened the window glass and pointed his gun at me to open the door.
“When they entered, they arrested my husband; they broke his head and forced him to follow them. He asked then what his offence is, but they shut him up. I am calling on them to bring back my husband.”
When contacted, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations Officer, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, said he was on the road and would respond to the matter as soon as he arrived at his destination.