The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has said it would submit 150 ‘sins’ of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state on electoral violence to the United Nations (UN), Amnesty International, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other major international bodies.
The threat came just as the leader of the defunct militant group, Niger Delta Vigilante, Chief Ateke Tom, declared that no political party would be allowed to hold any political rally in Okrika before the general election.
Chairman of the APC, Dr. Davies Ikanya, made the disclosure while receiving the report of a committee set up by the party to investigate the increasing cases of electoral violence against the party in the state.
He expressed sadness that security agencies in the state have failed to take appropriate actions to arrest people who engage in violence in the state.
He assured the committee members that the aim of setting up the committee would be actualised as the report would be sent to the United Nations, Amnesty International, ECOWAS and other major international bodies without delay.
“I commend the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, for directing that the Okrika attempt on our lives should be investigated. We wish that those behind this devilish attack are promptly arrested; if not, our lives will not be safe anymore,” Ikanya said.
Looking ahead to the elections, the party chairman said: “To the people of Rivers State, the choice of stopping further promotion of violence lies in their hands by ensuring that all the candidates fielded by the PDP in Rivers State are voted against to punish them for making our state a joke before the international community.
“The choice before them is to choose between darkness and light, devil and God, between occult forces and Christianity, between democracy and anti-democracy forces. The choice is ours to make.”
Ikanya appealed to the international community to come to the party’s aid, saying: “We can no longer fold our arms and watch while we are being viciously attacked and slaughtered by people whose mission and vision in politics is to spread violence as their own way of grabbing power, having seen that they have been overwhelmingly rejected by the electorate.
“What makes the situation more pathetic is that security agencies in Rivers State, including the police and the Department of State Security (DSS), have failed to make any arrest or call the PDP leadership to order simply because they are controlled by the PDP-led federal government, which is desperate to take over Rivers State at all cost.”
Earlier, while submitting the report, Chairman of the committee, Prince Peter Odika, said it was able to list 150 sins committed against the APC by the PDP leadership and members in the course of the on-going campaign for the 2015 elections.
“These sins revolve around attacks against APC faithful, billboards, and LG Secretariat by the misguided PDP elements in Rivers State ahead of the March/April 2015 general election,” Odika, who is also the state deputy chairman of APC, said.
Meanwhile, the leader of the defunct Niger Delta Vigilante, Chief Ateke Tom, said his stance not to welcome political campaigns in Okirika henceforth was in line with the unanimous decision of stakeholders, which was taken to preserve peace, law and order in the Wakirike nation.
The decision of the stakeholders has put a hold on plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to go back to Okrika to hold another rally after its last attempt was disrupted by explosions and gunfire.
Addressing journalists a few days after the botched Okrika rally, Chairman of the APC in Rivers state, Dr. Davies Ikanya, had said, “We will still go back to Okrika for our governorship campaign rally. Okrika is part of Rivers State and we want to take the message of our party to our people there.”
Ateke, who spoke on Tuesday at the end of a town hall meeting of stakeholders in
Okrika, said: “The people of Okrika have spoken and I am in support of the position that they have taken. My people have spoken: no more political rallies in Okrika. I am in support of their decision. Who am I to say no? You want them to kill me? When the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held their rally there was no problem. But there was violence when the All Progressives Congress (APC) staged their rally in Okrika, there was violence and people were injured and property destroyed. A policeman, we were told, was unfortunately killed.
“So, PDP and APC, there will be no more rallies in Okrika. We don’t want violence in Okrika anymore,” he said, stating that the people of Okrika wished to preserve the existing peace in the area and would not want political parties to foist violence on the people.
“We don’t want any violence in Okrika. We no longer want any trouble in Okrika. My advice to the youths is to resist the temptation of being lured by politicians to perpetrate violence. Politicians are like that they will use you and dump you. Any youth that allows himself to be used for violence in Okrika is on his own. I am warning our youths to stay out of violence because at the end of the day nobody will be there for them,” he said.
However, addressing journalists after a stakeholders meeting with the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone 6, Tunde Ogunsakin, at the Police Officers Mess, in Port Harcourt, Amange said, “The APC is not planning to hold another rally in Okrika. We have just come out of a meeting with the AIG Zone 6. The APC will not hold another rally in Okrika until we are sure that the atmosphere is conducive for the party to stage another rally.
“The APC will not hold any rally in Okrika until all the parties to the peace accord facilitated by the AIG zone 6, on Wednesday, February 4, agree that the atmosphere is safe for the APC to hold another rally.”
He stated that the APC would abide by the tenets of the accord brokered by the AIG and urged the people to be prepared to cast their voted during the elections.