Police: Onwuasoanya condemns the arrest of vendors accused of circulating separatist newspapers
A frontline content writer and public affairs analyst, Onwuasoanya FCC Jones, has condemned the arrest of Owerri based Newspaper vendors by the operatives of the Intelligent Response Team, IRT, of the Inspector General of Police, IGP on Monday, May 10, 2021, for allegedly distributing circulating secessionist newspapers.
It was reported that some newspaper vendors and distribution agents who ran away during the police raid on Monday morning, told Journalist in Owerri, the Imo State capital, that the police operatives who were armed to the teeth accused them of circulating Newspaper publications that had stories of the proscribed Indegenous People of Biafra.
They added that some of their colleagues who were arrested are Nnamso Okoro, Nelson Enyiama, Blessing Isinwa, Onyebuchi Iwundu, Micheal and many others who were taken to an undisclosed place.
Reacting on the incident, Mr. FCC Jones said, “The reported arrest of some newspaper vendors allegedly, by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) is condemnable, if it is true that those arrested were merely arrested for purportedly distributing newspapers promoting Biafran and IPOB reports”.
He decried that, “Vendors cannot be held responsible for the editorial choices of newspaper houses.
“I am wondering what could be the rationale behind arresting vendors, when the operatives could have invited the editors or publishers of such newspapers, instead of harassing innocent vendors who apparently do not have the slightest editorial contribution to the newspapers.
“This time is very volatile and our security agents must be careful not to aggravate the situation. A key way of winning this war against insurrectionists is by befriending the people. Ordinary masses must be convinced that security agents are here to protect them and not to harass them. Harassing innocent citizens would leave the people with no option but to identify with the terrorists and criminals, and this won’t be helpful for the efforts of the authorities to arrest the already bad situation.
He continued, “While I acknowledge the desperateness of the situation, this is the time for the State and its operatives to show more restraint, intelligence and the highest level of professionalism in order to show a clear difference between them and those they are trying to stop”.