By Peter Okolie
Onitsha (Anambra) – A Civil Society Organization, Campaign for Democracy (CD), has demanded the removal of all naval road blocks mounted across the South-East, alleging incessant harassment and abuses.
The National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Mr Dede Uzor, made the call in a statement made available to newsmen in Onitsha on Tuesday.
Uzor alleged that the road blocks had brought untold hardship to the people and paralysed economic activities in the area.
“The road blocks mounted by security operatives in the zone have become an avenue for the personnel to oppress and extort road users in the zone.
“We urge the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, to as a matter of urgent importance, dismantle the road blocks especially the two at Atani Road in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra.”
Uzor also urged the Naval High Command to fish out the officer, Mr Obinna Nwachi, who allegedly injured Mr Athanasius Obioha on his legs with the butt of his rifle in 2014.
He said the offence of the 56-year-old trader was because he crossed the Onitsha-Awka Express Road instead of using the pedestrian bridge at Uga Junction in Ogbaru near Onitsha.
“He was accosted by Nwachi, beaten to a pulp by the naval officer and left him a cripple till date.
“Since then, Obioha, a father of five and an Onitsha patent medicine dealer has been groaning without help.”
Uzor, who noted that many other road users had fallen victim to similar brutalization and abuses by naval officers, said the organisation would embark on a protest, if its demand was not met.