In line with our vision to encourage and support non-violence in the Niger Delta during the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria, we have sadly observed a pattern of violence in the region especially in Rivers State.
A study commenced January 1, 2015 across the Niger Delta reveals that in Rivers State, whereas we have been unable to collect verifiable evidence of any violence amongst the All Progressives Congress (APC) party members or against other political party members, that is not the case with the candidate and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
We came upon substantial evidence to prove that the acrimonious process that led to the emergence of the governorship candidate of the PDP in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is fuelling a spate of intra-party disagreement that, in some cases, led to very violent situations that have recorded fatalities.
I. In the early hours of January 6, 2015 several members of the APC were shot at while travelling to attend the flag off of the Buhari presidential campaign rally that took place in Port Harcourt. They were shot at Khana, Akukutoru and Asaritoru LGAs by suspected PDP members and thugs. Some of the victims are still undergoing intensive treatment in hospitals for bullet wounds.
II. On Saturday, January 10, 2015 the governorship candidate of the PDP (Nyesom Wike) was visiting Abonnema in Akukutoru Local Government Area when violence broke out between two groups within the PDP. The two groups are the Kengema Unity Forum (KUF) and the Grassroots Development Initiatives (GDI). The KUF led by an ex-militant oppose the emergence of the leader/patron of GDI (Nyesom Wike) as the governorship candidate of the PDP. In the ensuing fight and shooting, two members of the PDP died while many others were severely injured.
Prior to that sad event, all billboards of the opposition political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) were completely destroyed across the local government area the night before
III. Early the following day (Sunday, 11/1/2015), the APC secretariat in Abam-Ama, Okrika was blown up with dynamite by suspected agents of the PDP. However, the Police are yet to apprehend those behind the act.
IV. Yesterday (Thursday 15/1/2015), the governorship candidate of the PDP (Nyesom Wike), as part of his campaign in Abua/Odual, paid a courtesy call to the paramount ruler of the community. No sooner had he arrived there that gun battle erupted in the palace of the traditional ruler. When the security agents finally brought the situation under control, 7 persons laid dead and several critically wounded.
The Police say they are investigating. However, our independent investigations revealed that what happened was a fight for turf and supremacy between two rival cult groups that belong to the PDP and have been active in the area for years now. They are the Greenlanders and the Icelanders who are both working for the PDP governorship candidate, Barr. Nyesom Wike.
While not trying to rush into early indictment of any individual or political party in Rivers State as solely responsible for the present violence in the state, we make bold to call on the PDP to do all that is necessary to stem the current trend of violence within its rank and file to ensure a hitch-free and violent-free polls in Rivers State. Such applies to the other political parties as well.
We would also like to observe that the Nigerian Police and other security agencies appear to be incapable and/or lacking in the will to carry out their constitutional responsibilities of protecting lives and properties of Nigerians irrespective of political affiliations.
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