By Daniel Dafe
500 youths in Urhobo Nation will stage a peaceful protest to register their grievances over what they termed as police extortion and brutality in their land.
The National President of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Youthwing, Worldwide, Comrade Efemena Umukoro, made this disclosure during a chat with journalists today in Abraka.
Umukoro said: “Since the coming of CP Hafiz Inuwa as Commissioner of Police in Delta State, he has fought hard to prevent any form of human rights abuses by his men. We must give kudos to the CP for rebuilding and restructuring the police in the state.
“But it is sad that while the Delta State Police Command is working hard to eradicate abuses by men of the police and make them abide to international best practices, STS are using the name of the IGP to harass and embarrass members of the public.
“The IGP we know is a man of principle and will not condone such recklessness and abuse of office by his men. His personnel have constantly paraded themselves to extort Urhobo nation.
“Last week, they collected 1.6 million from a youth, saying that the car he drove in was snatched, but released the vehicle after collecting the money from him. Is that not extortion?
“Yesterday, I was in Warri to rest when a distress call was put to me at a very odd hour. I drove down to Abraka. The police were demanding 2 million naira each from those arrested. Imagine this is been done in this Covid-19 era?
“Last year this same STS came to town and had a clash with some indigines that resulted in the destruction of 10 motorcycles.”
“STS parades themselves as authority to themselves,” he opined.
He called on the police authority and the Delta State Government to look into this matter that has grave consequences if not addressed.
According to him, the said protest will take place simultaneously in several Urhobo communities, but was not certain of the date.”
Earlier today, in a Facebook post, the Urhobo youth leader called on youths to “join the 500-man protest against the Special Tactical Squad (STS) IGP Team, Abuja.”
He said: “As the president of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Youthwing Worldwide, an active human rights activist and also a member of the Delta State Community Policing Committee, I received a distress call in an ungodly hour last night from Urhobo Youths about the conduct of some police officers (STS).
“These set of police men are making life difficult for students and young adults. Just last week, policemen extorted the sum of 1.6 million naira from a young man in Ughelli, Delta State, on the premise that his car papers were not complete and updated.
“Same day, same policemen led by Inspector Lawrence and Matthew proceeded to Abraka and arrested a student of Delta State University, Abraka and collected 300 Thousand naira from him.
“While we were still strategizing on how to stop this harassment, just yesterday same STS men mobilized themselves to Abraka to brutalize students, extort them and eventually arrested over 20 students who failed to offer them money. These policemen were demanding 2 million naira from each of them. It was through my intervention as Urhobo Youths President that they left 10 and took 10 youths away without informing them of their alleged crime.
“It is sad that the police officers leading this onslaught against our people are not police officers serving under the Delta State Command but external police officers who come in commando style to kidnap, intimidate, extort, harass, assault and molest members of the public in Abraka and Delta State at large.
“It is on this premise that I shall be leading a five hundred man peaceful walk and press briefing to address the menace at hand and call on all relevant stakeholders to proffer possible solutions.”
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