It was indeed acrimonious as the Umunede Divisional Police Officer in Ika North East Local Government Area, SP Patrick Uebari led his men on Monday, July 6, 2020 on gun point and chased away the mammoth crowd of the people protesting for his removal, while shooting sporadically into the air.
SP Uebari attitude was condemned by many, as it was a peaceful protest.They thanked God that no life was lost in the process. The protesters include both old and young in Umunede.
The peaceful protest which lasted over four hours put on hold movements along the new Benin/Asaba Expressway in Umunede.
The protesters placards read, “Enough is enough”, “Umunede DPO Must Go”, “We are tired and saying no to his fraudulent act, where bailing now a lucrative business for the DPO to enrich his pocket”. This evil of intimidation and unnecessary arrest must stop”.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Lucky Onaro said SP Uebari was the first Umunede DPO that has no respect for the people.
According to him, “SP Uebari has failed in his duties to protect lives and properties since he has no regard for the people of his jurisdiction. We are protesting for his intimidation.We are appealing to the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police Delta State Command for his immediate removal before he instigates crisis in Umunede.
“We are protesting bitterly over SP Uebari money extortions. The curfew and laws initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic gave the DPO the opportunity to enrich himself using his men, the vigilantes and Anti-cult group in the area to extort residents. Without mincing words, population of arrested persons in the police cells are always over crowded every night thereby, going against the social distancing of the government order to stay safe from COVID-19.
“SP Uebari has not only made our police station a money making machine but also, an avenue to easily spread COVID-19 infection.
“Travelers that ply Umunede highway road have suffered so much in the hands of SP Uebari and his men to the extent that they seek for POS for easy money transfer for those who do have enough money with them to bail themselves.
“SP Uebari money conscious act has made him turned away for the fact that the police are your friend. For us to remain at peace in our own community, we are appealing that he (SP Uebari) should be removed as DPO Umunede Police Division”.
Continuing, Onaro said what instituted the protest was that a sick man who was rushed to the hospital for medical attention on Sunday night of July 5, 2020 gave up the ghost over the delay by the police who mounted road block in the name of checking implementing the curfew.
Many residents in their responses recounted their ugly experiences in the police cell and how they spent five thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand and other higher amounts of money to bail themselves, their motorcycles and cars for breaching the curfew order.