by James Eze,
The governor of Ebonyi State, South-east Nigeria, David Umahi, has ordered his security details to shoot anyone who blocks his convoy.
Even if such gunshot results to death, Mr Umahi said, it is still within the law.
Mr Umahi gave this order on Saturday while narrating how his convoy was blocked the previous night by mourners at a wake-keep in the state.
The governor’s convoy was reportedly blocked along Onicha Road in Onicha Local Government Area of the State on his way back to the state capital from his Uburu, Ohaozara hometown Friday night.
He alleged that one of his security aides lost his military rifle in the incident.
While receiving some guests at the State Executive Chambers in Abakaliki on Saturday, the governor expressed his fury over the incident, saying it is a criminal breach of the law.
“Yesterday night, I was coming back by 12 midnight. Of course, I had to stop over at the college to inspect projects, but when we got to Onicha, they blocked the road.
“Even with the litany of army and the police and everything, they did not even want to open the road. Then I said they should arrest all of them, but most of them ran away. I think they even took a gun of an army officer,” he said.
Mr Umahi said those who ran away would still be arrested and imprisoned.
“So the Chairman of the Local Government, the House of Assembly members and coordinators, they are working very hard and the SSA on Security, they are all there to sort it out.
“But I say, all of them will go to prison. So they have to identify them, bring them here and we will prosecute them to show an example,” he said.
Shoot, even to kill
To forestall anyone from blocking his convoy in the future, even if like the mourners, they are not armed, Mr Umahi said such persons should be shot.
“Next time the ADC should order for a shoot. It is very illegal to block the governor. And if anybody is killed in the course of that, it is allowed in the law.
“And it is not me that is the problem, it is the common man, nobody should be oppressed…,” the governor said.
Ban on Wake-keep
The governor also announced a ban on wake-keep extending beyond 10 p.m. in the state.
“And I want it to be announced that henceforth, no wake-keep should go past10 p.m. If you must pass 10 p.m., take written permission from the chairman of the local government, and both the chairman and the person that requested will be held responsible if any problem occurs.
“This should be widely circulated and properly announced. My problem is not that they blocked the governor, but my worry is supposing that it was a smaller person that was passing, who had no army and police, they would have robbed the person.”
Mr Umahi’s directive way contribute to the already trigger-happy nature of security operatives attached to top public officials.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how two students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, were shot dead by police officers in the convoy of Bisi Fayemi, the wife of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
Other students also sustained gunshot injuries from the fracas which started after a police officer attached to Mrs Fayemi’s convoy slapped a student leader when protesting students blocked a road in Ekiti to be used by the first lady.