Senator Magnus Abe, who was shot and allegedly tear-gassed by the police in Port Harcourt on Sunday, has been flown to London for further medical attention.Details of the movement of the Senator was sketchy as of press time but it was learnt that Abe was moved out of the Kesley Harrison Hospital, Port Harcourt, to the Port Harcourt International Airport on Sunday evening.
A source said the federal lawmaker, who was wheeled into a waiting ambulance with a retinue of medical officers, would be flown to London.
Senator Magnus Abe tear gassed, shot by police
The political crisis rocking Rivers State worsened on Sunday when operatives of the State Police Command unleashed mayhem and shot the lawmaker representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, with rubber bullets.
Also, unconfirmed report has it that two kids, who were on their way to church in company of their mother, were choked to death as a result of the teargas that was fired by the police within the area.
Abe and the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha, had gone to supervise the arrangement for a rally organised by the Save Rivers Movement, a mobilisation group of the All Progressives Congress, at the College of Arts and Science in Rumuola axis of Obio/Akpor near the state capital.
It was gathered that over 25 Hilux vehicles loaded with policemen stormed the place at about 8.20 am and began to fire teargas and rubber bullets.
Two rubber bullets, according to the sources, hit the senator on the leg and chest while the Chief of Staff, who escaped from the attack, took a large dose of teargas.
Though the police had blocked both ends of Rumuola Road and prevented motorists, especially those attending church services from getting to their various churches, eyewitnesses said they (police) destroyed canopies, communication equipment put in place at the venue of the Save River Movement/APC Rally.
At Rumuokuta Roundabout, overzealous armed policemen harassed motorists at will, stopped and search their boots before turning them back.
From the College of Arts and Science, a batch of the policemen was seen marching towards Rumuokuta Roundabout, chanting triumphant songs.
However, one of the victims of police harassment was the Bureau Chief of the Sun Newspaper, Mr. Chris Anucha, who was hit with the nozzle of a gun.
“One of the policemen, who ordered me to move, hit me with the nozzle of the gun and ordered me to run,” an angry Anucha told some of his colleagues in Port Harcourt.
The incident had caused pandemonium within the area as passersby who had inhaled teargas scampered to safety, even as battle-ready policemen took strategic positions.
At the Krisany Hospital, where Senator Abe was rushed to, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Mckay Anyanwu said the patient came in a state of shock evidenced by low blood pressure.
Anyanwu told journalist that Abe could neither nor eat, but was restless as a result of the shock and internal bleeding suffered after being hit by a rubber bullet.
According to the doctor, “He was unable to talk or eat and he was feeling restless as a result of a traumatic shock. The implication is that there is hemorrhage; this is a blood trauma, it is not a sharp one.
“So, we don’t know the layers that are affected. This can only be detected through the use of MRI. We have given the necessary resuscitative medication. Bleeding internally (hemorrhage).
“If you check the two sides of chests, the affected side is so enlarged as compared to the unaffected area. My immediate concern was to revive the patient. It was later that I was being told that he was hit by a rubber bullet.”
But Abe, who was in a critical condition, was later moved to another hospital in an ambulance for further treatment.
Speaking on the matter, the Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Tony Okocha, explained that he escaped death by the whisker.
Okocha accused the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, of mobilizing all the police formations in the state to the venue of the Save Rivers Movement/APC rally.
The police were also said to have moved to Rumuigbo and dispersed APC supporters, who decided to shift the rally to the area.
“The state police commissioner ordered operatives from all formations to the venue of our rally. We have written the police to inform them that we will hold a rally today. But they still came here to destroy all we have put in place for our rally,” he said.
Reacting, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ahmad Mohammad, said the organizers of the rally did not apply for police permit to hold a rally.
Mohammad denied knowledge of the attack on Senator Abe, saying, “I am not aware that Abe was injured or any causlatly. No ammuniation was shot. The police had to disperse them. They (organisers are telling lies about the situation.”
It will be recalled that the police had on three occasions in the past disrupted rallies organised by the opposition party.