Dokubo, Briggs, others lead women’s protest in Rivers

By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt

A Nollywood actress, Hilda Dokubo and a Niger Delta activist, Annkio Brigs, on Monday led hundreds of mothers in Rivers State to march the streets of Port Harcourt, the state capital, in solidarity with the #EndSARS protesters.

They called on the government to reform the police.

Displaying placards with inscriptions such as “Mothers don’t want to bury their children”, the women sang and danced from the UTC Bus Stop to the Rivers State House of Assembly complex.

The women were, however, disappointed that the lawmakers were not available to address them after waiting for them for over an hour.

Briggs said not even a member of the House of Assembly was at the complex.

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She said the protesters proceeded to the police headquarters in Port Harcourt, where they called for an end to police brutality.

She said: “While we were at the police headquarters a message came that the speaker would see us. We walked back to the state assembly complex but we were told the speaker was with the governor and we should wait for him.

“But we refused to wait. I doubt if any of the River State House of Assembly members know who voters are in their political career and what they are meant to do for the voters.

“The assembly members representing every LGA and community owe the mothers and grandmothers of Rivers State a public apology.”

But Governor Nyesom Wike, who addressed the protesters through his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, restated his call for the total reform of the Police.

The governor recalled that the state was the first to raise the alarm in 2015 over the negative activities of SARS, but the Federal Government refused to act.

Wike said: “As a government, we feel your pains and this injustice must surely stop. To tell you the level of impunity, some SARS officers that were even caught on camera killing people were even promoted.

“I want to thank you for the peaceful way you have conducted yourselves and assure you that we shall work together.”

Speaking on behalf of the “Concerned Mothers in Rivers State”, Mrs. Ivy Davies Etokakpan said the protest was to lend their voices to end police brutality.

She noted that within the last two weeks, they heard gruesome stories of police brutality on young people.

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