The eastern commercial city of Onitsha began to boil Monday morning, according a resident, simply named Raphael, just days after accolades were poured on the ‘beloved’ Divisional Police Officer, Rabiu Garba, for the role he played in dousing tension when youths and hoodlums came to set his station ablaze.
Raphael, who is hiding himself within the confines of his office feared today’s protest appeared to be spiralling, and wondered if Rabiu’s station will be spared this time.
In Nnewi, also in Anambra State, two police stationshad their armouries looted and were burnt last Friday. Both cities are notorious for their backing for the renegade group, Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), headed by Mazi Nnamdi Kano, who has been fanning the embers of ethnic hatred as the #EndSARS protests raged last week.
Recall that Rabiu gained popularity after a viral post on him circulated days ago. It read: “A friend who lives at Onitsha told this story and it was a refreshing departure from the usual narrative, considering the harrowing experience of the past week.
“Rabiu Garba is the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Fegge Onitsha. He built a borehole for the neighbourhood without any fund raising.
“He organizes soccer tournaments for the youths of Fegge at their stadium where he also goes to play table tennis weekly.
“For Rabiu Garba, Fegge is his home. Fegge is his community.
“He has attended almost every church and every event in the area as he is invited because he is accepted as one of them.
“When the rampaging youths came to burn his Police Division yesterday, he neither fought nor fled.
“While his men were panicked, he walked out to meet the mob with the courage of a man who had nothing to fear.
“They recognized him and the angry chants were silenced! Most of the youths could vouch for him as a professional cop and a role model for many young men in the community.
“They even granted him audience to address and counsel them before the mob dispersed.
“It had nothing to do with his tribe.
It had nothing to do with his religion.
He was just a model cop.
“Yes, there are still good cops.
“Thank you DPO Rabiu Garba”.