Port Harcourt — GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike, Friday, mocked the All Progressives Congress, APC, as festering divisions in Rivers chapter of the party pushed erupted in violent protest over alleged hijack of today (Saturday) Ward Congresses in the state.
Member representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency, Chidi Wikioya was reportedly arrested by the police and two persons shot as the daring youths confronted the police, invaded the State APC Secretariat, wrecked the building and looted looted several properties.
Deputy Chairman of the State APC, Peter Odike, alleged that nomination forms for the Ward congress were hijacked and being issues against the rules of the party and the exercise out a hideout in a popular ports services provider in the Port Harcourt in alleged orders of the Transport Minister and Leader of the Party in the state, Rotimi Amaechi.
The party Chairman, Chief Davies Ikanya, dispelled his deputy's allegations, saying the process was going on as planned and only being delayed by late arrival of party supervisors from the national office whose early flight from Abuja, he claimed, failed to pull through.
Addressing visiting retired military and paramilitary officers at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike mocked the party for creating public scare over mere Ward Congresses while also indicting security operatives for allegedly aiding the raging implosion in the party.
He said: "In an ordinary party congress, over a platoon of soldiers and more than 200 SARs Personnel have been hangded over to one man. If these operatives protect just one man, while other communities are left without protection.
"SARS Commander Akin Fakorede is operating without check because he has the support of the Police High Command. If security agencies can be negatively used during a mere party congress, Nigerians should expect electoral mischief, masterminded by security agencies in 2019.
He said the situation within currently in the Rivers APC has vindicated him about his concerned on a conspiracy to use security operatives to rig the coming 2019 elections, advising the party leaders that elections was "not do or die affair" and that there was need for tolerance and decorum.
Rep member arrested, looting at Rivers APC office
Angry youths Friday had invaded, wrecked and looted the Rivers state secretariat of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as conflicts rocks preparation for tomorrow's ward congress of the party.
The youth uprising which started as a protest against perceived hijack of the congress process degenerated into looting after the festering violence forced the state executives of the party to escape the secretariat.
The police were said to have arrested some of the suspected invaders of the secretariat allegedly including Member Representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency, Chidi Wihioka.
Chris Finebone, Publicity Secretary of Rivers APC said, "The destruction you see here tells the story of what happened. The police have held some persons including Chidi Wihioka, a federal lawmakers"
He said the entire office has been looted. Computers, ACs, flags, furniture, every property were looted. "You can see the windows shattered. The only thing they failed to do was to burn the place down. They brought a drum of diesel for the purpose, but the police stopped them", Finebone said.
Nnamdi Omoni, Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers State Command, who was at the scene of the incident when Vanguard visited confirm the arrest of some suspects but evaded confirmation whether those in custody include Rep member, Wikioha.
Abe, Finebone react
Sen. Magnus Abe, in his reservations on perceived compromise of the rancorous Ward congress said it wouldn't be reasonable to hold the exercise when a faction of the party has allegedly hijacked the process, including resolutions reached by at the May 2 South South stakeholders meeting held at the Abuja home of the Zone's leader, Amaechi.
Abe who had preempted rancour marring the exercise said the party's South-South caucus meeting recommended that aspirants for the Ward congress should get nomination forms at least 24 hours before the congress, but wondered why the "highhandedness of the highest order designed to threaten members."
"Up till now, nobody has heard anything from the officials that will conduct the congresses. None of the stakeholders have been called to any meeting. Those who have paid to get forms don't know where to go or who to issue them form, but we here some forms have been issued at Intels in Port Harcourt.
"We would like to appeal to the national secretariat of the party to do something about the situation. Forms have not been given to those who bought forms. They protested when they heard that forms were being distributed at Intels. I think know how you can conduct the exercise under such an atmosphere"
Chris Finebone, Publicity Secretary of the party, explaining the situation, said, "We got a message from Abuja that they are having flight delays and so they would arrive at about 3, 3.30pm.
And so we decided that having made these efforts so far, we won't allow any further delay so the sales of forms would begin immediately at the Secretariat of the party"
The sales however weren't observed to have happened as violence broke out at the secretariat leading to the looting of the secretariat and eventual arrest of some suspects.
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Publish date : 2018-05-05 07:01:18