Nkpolu Protest: Why Victim Was Shot, Killed – Eyewitness

An eyewitness in Monday's protest at Nkpolu axis of the East-West Road in Port-Harcourt that resulted in the death of one of the protesters has explained the circumstance surrounding the unfortunate incident, disclosing that the shooting of the protester by the security official was avoidable if not for alleged confrontation.

An eyewitness in Monday's protest at Nkpolu axis of the East-West Road in Port-Harcourt that resulted in the death of one of the protesters has explained the circumstance surrounding the unfortunate incident, disclosing that the shooting of the protester by the security official was avoidable if not for alleged confrontation.

The eyewitness, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that some security officials who were escorting whitemen to their place of work that Monday morning were to pass the Nkpolu axis of the East-West Road, which was blocked by the protesters from Nkpolu Community, as they protested against the poor state of the road that leaves one side of the stretch of the road around the Nkpolu axis heavily flooded.

The eyewitness said that some soldiers of the Nigerian Army, who were to pass the East-West road earlier that Monday morning, were asked to go back by the protesters and they did, but when those security officials escorting the whitemen came to the Nkpolu axis of the East-West Road and were asked to go back by the protesters, they refused, but that after some time, they decided to turn back.

The eyewitness said that just as the security officials and the whitemen were about turning back, few of the protesters moved  towards them, but while the other protesters turned back after a time, the one who later became the victim would not turn back.

The eyewitness said that as the protester kept approaching, one of the security officials fired warning shots into the air but the protester would not stop.

The eyewitness said that at that point, the security official opened fire on him but the bullets would not penetrate.

According to the eyewitness, the security man then picked some sand from the ground, rubbed the sand around his gun and then fired and wounded the protester.

The eyewitness who recounted that the protester was rushed to a hospital, said that he died in the hospital.   

According to him, when news came that the protester was dead from the gunshot wound, hell was allegedly let loose around the Nkpolu axis of the East-West road by the protesting youths.

He said that the angry Nkpolu youths allegedly broke car windows and also set on fire a truck which was carrying wood.

The eyewitness further said that the angry youths also allegedly destroyed and looted a fast food restaurant located at the Nkpolu Junction.

Our reporter who visited the Nkpolu Junction later that Monday saw a burnt truck that was carrying wood and  broken glasses scattered in the premises of the fast food restaurant at the Nkpolu Junction.

Our reporter also noticed that tables and chairs inside the restaurant were destroyed.

In the meantime, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Rivers State, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, while reacting on the protest, said that 15 persons have been arrested, revealing that the Commissioner of Police in the State has ordered an investigation into the matter.

DSP Omoni said that any one found guilty at the end of the investigation would be dealt with according to the law.

He said that what happened on Monday could have been avoided and appealed to people to seek redress without violence.