2 million-man march anniversary: 20 Thousand Youths grace Vision 2030 Launch

Despite heavy presence of the police and other security details barricading the entrance to Heroes square, initial venue of the Daniel Kanu commemorative 2 million man march, the programme yet successfully held Saturday 3rd March 2018, at Emmanuel College, off Nekede-Aba Road in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria Newspoint can authoritatively report. As at 8:30AM youths in hundreds were already making their way to Heroes Square where they were blocked by security forces with over 10 Hilux Vans stationed at the entrance. The youths resorted to gather in front of Concorde Hotel, where the number rose to nearly 20 thousand. Prince Daniel Kanu, chairman of the New Deal Organization, while addressing the mammoth crowd said “today we have come to address our future and press for reorientation of our core value system, we have come to insist on job creation and youth empowerment, this rally is not political neither is it one to fight the Government or the Police, what we are here for is to say poverty must be eradicated” Continuing Kanu compared the state of the nation from 1998 to 2018. “We are not better off as a people 20 years after I first led a 2 million man match in 1998, to insist on vision 2010 under former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha” he said. “In 1998 1$ was N22, today it exchanges for N360, bag of rice in 1998 was N2500, today it is N18,000 bag of Garri was N150 in 1998, but today it sells for N15000, petrol litre in 1998 was N11, but today it is N185, this is what we are trying to address today. When I was insisting on sustaining vision 2010 some people felt it was not necessary so they killed it and by killing that vision, we are where we are today for the people perish where there is no vision” Kanu noted. Standing at the back of a stationary van, Prince Daniel Kanu addressed the crowd comprising mainly students and young people from each of the 27 LGA in Imo State, who cheered at him in affirmation.

However, as soon as the peaceful rally was to begin, officers of the Nigerian police detailed from the State Police Command, under CP Christopher Ezike, allegedly acting on the instructions of Governor Rochas Okorocha, appeared in several Police vans to the place where the youths gathered and immediately began firing tear-gas canisters which scared the youths away, pushing them towards the Imo broadcasting Corporation premises. Not satisfied, the police officers, jeering at the crowd, chased after them with siren-fitted vehicles, firing tear-gas at them repeatedly and at very close range. Our reporter confirmed that the effect of the tear gas left many nauseating, others sneezing profusely while many fled with cough and damaged vision.

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