From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Members of Equity International Initiatives (EII), who protested against Edo State Government planned compulsory COVID-19 vaccination in Benin on Monday, have been invited for interrogation by operatives of the Department State Services (DSS).
The convener of EII, Chris Iyama, who announced this at a press conference in Benin City yesterday, said they are not perturbed by the invitation.
He, however, stressed that their seven day ultimatum for the government to rescind its decision remains, even as he announced that there is an injunction from the Federal High Court in Port-Harcourt restraining the government from going ahead with its plans.
“We were invited by the DSS after our demonstration on Monday; we told them that having a rally is our right as enshrined in the constitution and to us as Nigerians, it is our right. We told them the ultimatum we have given to the state government stands and after the seven days ultimatum, we are going to mobilise Edo people back to the government house but I am sure that with what we have done so far, the governor will have a rethink because we know he is listening and I believe with the court judgment they may not go ahead.
“We told the DSS they should tell the governor our position since we have met with him. We came out very calm; we will remain calm even in the face of oppression. We are not cowards, we know how to demand for our rights”, Iyama added.
Also speaking, a clergy, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, carpeted the state leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for supporting the position of the governor saying “CAN has no right under its own constitution to align with government to force us as Christians, as ministers to be vaccinated”.
On the suit instituted in Port-Harcourt, Lead Counsel to EII, John Okhuihievbe, said “In arguing the Motions in Suit No. FHC/PH/FHR/266/2021 filed by Mr. Charles Osaretin against the Governor of Edo State and 5 others and dated the 30th of August, 2021, the Learned Senior Counsel, Echezona Etiaba (SAN), urged the court to order parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for the Enforcement of the Applicants’ Fundamental Rights.
“The Orders were granted as prayed. Court adjourned to the 10th of September, 2021 for hearing of the Substantive Motion”, added.