Ada Wodu, Calabar
There was pandemonium at the governor’s office in Calabar on Friday as hundreds of commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as ‘ okada riders’, invaded the premises with the corpse of one of their colleagues.
The irate motorcyclists attacked and overpowered the security men at the gate and broke one of the doors leading into the governor’s office.
After gaining access into the premises, they dropped the corpse of their colleague at the entrance to the office.
The deceased okada rider was allegedly killed by officials of a ‘taskforce’ unit in Special Services, Governor’s Office, which is under the control of the State Security Adviser, South, Mr Ani Esin.
The police had to call for reinforcement before they could ward off the protesting motorcycle riders.
Soldiers also joined the police to bring the situation under control.
Five of the protesting motorcyclists were arrested by the police and whisked away while the rest fled in different directions as gunshots rang out at the scene.
The police shot at the tyre of one of the motorcycles, seized it and arrested one of the riders trying to escape.
Trouble started at the Four Miles area of Ikot Ansa, near St Patrick’s College, where the taskforce allegedly pursued the motorcycle rider, who was said to be riding on a prohibited road.
The okada rider reportedly fell off the motorcycle as he was escaping, thereby sustaining injuries.
His colleagues took him to a hospital where he died.
Aggrieved motorcyclists promptly mobilised themselves and stormed the governor’s office with the corpse.
Reacting to the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, explained that “the man was pursued by a taskforce and he fell down and died while he was trying to escape”.
Efforts to get the reaction of the State Security Adviser, Esin, were not successful as of the time of filing this report as he did not pick up his calls after several attempts.