- BY EDIDEM UYA in Calabar•
A menacing and angry mob comprising about three hundred commercial motorcycle operators commonly referred to as “Okada Riders” invaded Cross River State Government House on Friday morning and dumped the corpse of their dead colleague at the Governor’s office.
Governor Ben Ayade, his aides and the security personnel attached to his office had travelled with him to Bakassi Local Government Area in continuation of campaigns towards the 2019 general elections.
In the process of depositing the corpse of their late colleague, the irate commercial motorcyclists smashed glass doors, windows in the premises, overpowered and attacked some security personnel and workers available.
The mob was protesting the alleged extra-judicial killing of their yet to be identified colleague by some officials of the Task Force, Special Services, Governor’s Office, attached to the State Security Adviser, South, Mr. Ani Esin.
Information from the protesters indicate that trouble started when the late Okada rider was given pursuit by a team of the Special Services Task Force from Four Miles area of Ikot Ansa near the St. Patrick’s College, for allegedly plying his business in a route not designated for commercial motorcyclists.
It was gathered that in the process of trying to escape, the commercial motorcyclist who was on top speed fell off his bike and sustained serious injuries.
An eyewitness said when the commercial motorcyclist fell, instead of ensuring that he was safe, members of the task force descended on him, beat him to pulp, and left him unconscious.
It was gathered that some of his colleagues who came to his aide, rushed him to a hospital in town where he was pronounced dead.
However, an eyewitness account has it that infuriated over the death of their colleague, the commercial motorcyclists swiftly mobilisation to Government House to lodge their protest over the killing of their colleague to the state governor.
They had overpowered the few security men and the police at the main entrance gate to the Government House at Diamond Hill, before making their way into the premises where they dropped the lifeless body of their late colleague in front of an office they believed as that of the governor.
The reinforcement of policemen, and drafting of a few soldiers who successfully chased off the commercial motorcyclists from the premises, appeared to have averted any form of serious damage as the mob had already smashed a door within the main building of Government House.
Amidst the sounds of gunshots, the protesting commercial motorcyclists scampered in different directions, while five of them who could not escape were arrested.
It was gathered that the mob abandoned the corps, which was eventually evacuated by the police.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, PRO, DSP Irene Ugbo, who reacted to the incident said information reaching the police command indicate that the late commercial motorcyclist met his death when he fell of his speeding motorcycle while attempting to escape arrest my members of the task force.