Tension in Rivers as APC, PDP bicker on shootings


The Rivers State Police Command is investigating those responsible for the shooting of some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at various political rallies in the South-South state.
Because of the tension building up in the state, the police command has revoked the licences of all firearms, threatening that those who refused to return such firearms will be prosecuted.
Firing the first partisan salvo, the APC told the opposition PDP that the resort to violence will not save it from being disgraced during next month’s general elections.
The APC made this declaration while reacting to the violence unleashed by suspected PDP paid agents on APC supporters who were on their way to the Adokiye Amaesiemeka Sports Complex, Port Harcourt, for the APC Presidential Rally.
Gunmen believed to be hired by PDP leaders had opened fire on the APC supporters from Asari Toru and Khana local governments, leaving eight of them in critical condition and battling for their dear lives at the intensive care unit of the Kesley Harrison Hospital, Port Harcourt. The attacks took place at Abalama in Asari Toru local government and Kira in Tai local government, respectively.
Berating PDP for the unfortunate incident, Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said: “We wish to strongly condemn this resort to violence by the drowning PDP, which, despite all our entreaties, has failed to see that politics is not war but a democratic way of allowing the people to voluntarily choose their leaders. It is unfortunate that rather than heed our previous advice to honourably withdraw from the governorship election to avoid being disgraced, PDP leaders prefer to unleash violence on APC faithful. We, however, wish to assure them that we shall neither be intimidated nor stoop so low to embrace violence since we cannot take up arms against the very people whose mandate we are seeking through the forthcoming polls.”
Rivers APC sympathised with the victims of the unprovoked violent attack, assuring them that the party will never abandon them but is committed to their quick recovery and discharge from the hospital to enable them rejoin their loved ones soon.
The party expressed gratitude to Governor Chibuike Amaechi for ordering the very best medical attention for the injured APC members. It also commended the party’s governorship candidate, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, for paying a sympathy visit to the shot men in their hospital beds. “By so doing, Dr. Peterside has once more displayed his compassionate nature and demonstrated his readiness to identify with all Rivers people in their travails. We are confident that the good people of Rivers State will empower him with their votes on February 28 to enable him provide the kind of purposeful leadership our dear state deserves at this critical point in its history,”
But in a counter statement, the PDP said that some APC thugs shot and killed two members of the PDP, Hon Hope George and Friday Mbadee Onura.
A statement signed by Jerry Needam, Special Adviser, Media to State PDP Chairman, Bro. Felix Obuah, reads: “Members of the APC opened fired on a vehicle which had the member representing Ogu/Bolo in the House of Representatives, Hon Bright Tamuno Gogo, Rivers State House of Assembly candidate, Hon Datorudimabo Adams, and the immediate past councillor of Okrika Local Government council, Hon Hope George, as occupants. Hon Hope George died, while others including Hon Bright Gogo sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds and are receiving treatment in the hospital.
“The victims were on their way to attend the governorship rally of the PDP in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State and about same time yesterday, Friday January 9, 2015 members of Eleme local government Area chapter of the APC, led by Isaac Obee, shot and killed PDP stalwart, Friday Mbadee Onura, while others are in critical condition in various hospitals, following gunshot wounds they sustained during the attack.
“The PDP hereby states that the insecurity in the state is the creation of the APC, ahead of the general elections.
The PDP calls on the outgoing governor, Rotimi Amaechi, the APC governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside and Mrs Ibim Semenitari, who just few days ago incited criminals against members of the PDP in Rivers State and Tony Okocha to tell Rivers People what they know about the shootings and killings of its members in Rivers State.
“The PDP calls on the State Commissioner of Police to investigate them over killings and shootings of its members in Rivers State.
“The PDP condemns, in strong terms, the killings and shootings of its members and appeals to members of the party and Rivers people to remain calm in the face of provocations by members of the APC.
“The PDP is becoming worried over the spate of attacks and killing of its members since certain undesirable elements and suspects were set free on the order of the outgoing governor, Rotimi Amaechi and those criminals released are working for the APC.
“The killings and shootings of our members have confirmed PDP’s earlier position that the action of the outgoing Governor to drop charges against 53 militants and several cultists under prosecution and releasing them from detention in the state was political, ill-conceived and with the motive of setting up a Militancy Strike Force in preparation for the forth coming general elections in Rivers State.
“Amaechi, last year ordered the release of cultists and militants on charge No Phc/1505c/2013. They were charged to court on charges of secret cult activities, participation in secret cult activities, unlawful Assembly, to disturb public peace, kidnapping etc.
Meanwhile, the state police command has threatened to deal with any politician or thug caught with firearms.
A statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ahmad Kidaya Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), reads: “The Rivers State Police Command observes with grave concern the continued recovery of firearms and ammunition from individuals across the state.
“Individuals and associations in possession of licensed firearms are, by this release, informed that such licences have since been revoked.
“Accordingly, members of the public are ordered to surrender such firearms and ammunition to the public armouries in their area of jurisdiction.
“The Command will, henceforth, treat anyone arrested with such firearms as a criminal and be made to face the full wrath of the law, please”.


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