The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that over 30 of its supporters have been killed in the political violence that has rocked the state in the past few months.
A statement by the state Chairman, Mr. Davis Ibiamu Ikanya, in Port Harcourt, said APC members have been victims of vicious political violence in recent times, expressing concern that no arrest have been made despite the killings.
“Our investigations showed that we have lost no fewer than 30 of our members and supporters in political attacks instigated in parts of the State by agents of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). As painful as this is, we are miffed that no single arrest has been made by the police in connection with these politically-motivated killings calculated to intimidate and annihilate us a political party,” Ikanya stated.
Ikanya lamented that those behind the killings are becoming increasingly emboldened by the day as demonstrated by their brazen attack on APC’s gubernatorial campaign train in Okrika on 18thFebruary 2015.
“With the shooting, bombing and successful disruption of our Okrika rally which was aimed principally at eliminating our gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, with the successful kidnapping of Fred Ndigbara, a civil servant working in the Media Unit of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Governor of Rivers State, we indeed need no soothsayer to tell us that we are no longer protected but now endangered species.
“When a political party is denied the right to canvas for votes in an assumed democratic system, as has been done to us in Okrika, we can only conclude that Nigeria is slowly but steadily slipping into a state of anarchy. With the lives of our people threatened on daily basis, with the security agencies looking the other way, we have every reason to wonder if the PDP-controlled Federal Government is truly serious that elections will hold in Rivers State during the general elections scheduled for March and April,” Ikanya said.
The Rivers APC Chairman commended Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, “for ordering full investigation into the madness that happened at Okrika, where one of the policemen providing security at our rally was brutally killed”.
He also commended Zone 6 Assistant Inspector General of Police, Tunde Ogunsakin, for ordering Rivers State Commissioner of Police, CP Dan Bature, to rescue Mr. Fred Ndigbara from the hands of those that kidnapped him while on a democratic duty during the rally of APC at Khana recently. “We however wish to emphasise that something serious must be done soon to avoid us losing hope on the ability of the police to secure our lives,” Ikanya said.
He added: “PDP and its promoters can’t be allowed to continue to act with impunity as if the police are an extension of the party as being boasted by some of its chieftains. It is very unfortunate and sad that a Police Force that is being sustained and maintained by our taxes should allow its reputation to be ruined by a group of people who do not mean well for our State.
“We hereby demand the immediate rescue of Mr. Fred Ndigbara, a harmless fellow whose only crime is belonging to APC, and that adequate protection be accorded to our gubernatorial candidate and the entire APC leadership in Rivers State. We also demand a stop to the further harassment of our members. We are full citizens of this country and we can no longer tolerate being treated like second class citizens.”
Rivers APC commiserated with the family of the slain policeman, police corporal Ifeanyi Okorie and assured that it will do everything humanly possible to ensure that his children are given the best education that they need to succeed in life. The party thanked the leadership of the Federal House of Representatives for showing solidarity with Dr. Peterside and the leadership of APC over the unwarranted Okrika attack and for demanding that the security agencies should get to the root of the matter.