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Police stop budget tracking meeting in Enugu


ENUGU – The police in Enugu on Thursday stopped a budget tracking session organised by a coalition of civil society organisations in Enugu.

The organisations, under the aegis of the Enugu Citizens’ Forum, had invited stakeholders to the session to review how the state government had deployed its federal allocation in the budget year.

Less than one hour into the programme, heavily armed policemen led by Mr G. Gboya, a deputy superintendent of police, ordered all the participants out of the venue.

“I am directed to let you know that you cannot continue with this programme, so everybody should go out,’’ he said.

With the order, the participants hurried out the venue while the organisers demanded to know who gave the directive and why.

Reacting to the development, the coordinator of the event, Mr Cromwell Chibuzo, expressed surprise at the development, saying that it was wrong and against their fundamental human rights and that of the citizens of the state

“I feel that some other people who have interests want to shop for relevance. For me it is an over kill, otherwise why will you stop such a peaceful meeting that is not harmful?

“All the state commissioners in the relevant MDA’s were communicated even before the findings started and when we finished, we invited them to see what we have done.

“We made it in such a way that it is going to be open, so that everybody will hear what we are saying. If we intended any harm, it will not be so. This is governance and not politics and has no political colouration.

“I think that it is lack of knowledge on the part of the government and its agencies that is stopping us. Some contractors who did not do their work will never want the public to hear us,’’ he said.

Chibuzo explained that information was given to the relevant government MDA’s a fortnight ago and wondered why they did not stop the event till it began.

He said that the coalition of no fewer than 100 CSOs would seek advice to decide their next line of action.

Reacting to the development, the spokesman of the Enugu State Police Command, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, said he had yet to be briefed on the matter. (NAN)

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