President Muhammadu Buhari has been tasked to order an inquiry into the reported physical assault on Dr Avwebo Otoide, a physician, by men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Port Harcourt recently.
Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community in Warri North council area of Delta State, which made the demand in a statement in Abuja on Monday, also demanded the arrest and prosecution of the security men who assaulted Dr Otoide while on duty as a frontline healthcare worker.
Dr Otoide, ‘a daughter’ of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community, was reportedly out to attend to a person in need of medical attention when she was stopped at gunpoint along Ohiamini-Psychiatric Road, off Rumuola Road in Port Harcourt, by a number of Air Force personnel on patrol.
Reports had it that despite her identifying herself as a medical personnel on duty, the armed personnel still beat her and forcefully took her to the isolation centre at the Liberation Stadium, Elekahia where she was reportedly detained by police officers for allegedly refusing to surrender her cell phone.
However, in the statement by Mr Ebilate Mac-Yoroki and Mr Midwest Kukuru, President and Secretary, respectively, of Polobubo-Tsekelewu National Council (PNC), the community lamented the circumstances surrounding the incident which their daughter had suffered, describing it as inhuman and demanded immediate justice and restitution.
Among other things, Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community demanded that President Buhari initiated the necessary actions through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, as well as the Nigerian Defense Headquarters to get justice for Dr Otoide.
“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 officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Port Harcourt recently, with shock and anger.
“The people and leadership of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community take serious exceptions to these 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 (NAF) 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 for the immediate investigation, 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 (PTF) 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 said.