PDP Condemns APC’s Resort to Violence
…As Two Youth Feared Dead
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm that
sympathizers of President Goodluck Jonathan are pushing Nigeria to the
precipice, after PDP-sponsored and police-backed militants attacked a
peaceful rally in Rivers State with guns and other weapons, for the
second consecutive Sunday.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National
Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the hoodlums,
who invaded the venue of the rally by the Save Rivers Movement (SRM)
in Bori, where the executives of the pan Rivers group in Khana Local
Government Area of the state were to be inaugurated, attacked those in
attendance and beat up some of the journalists who were invited to
cover the event, damaging their vehicles and equipment in the process.
It said while the attack was going on, the police – who had been
formally informed of the rally and were expected to provide protection
– instead gave the hoodlums a free rein, in the most egregious and
open display of partisanship by an institution of the state saddled
with ensuring the protection of lives and property of all citizens.
APC said the police carried its partisanship to another level when,
the previous day (Saturday), it sent over 300 men to protect a pro-PDP
rally that was used solely to launch a blistering verbal assault on
the APC and Gov. Chibuike Amaechi. The same police have offered
protection for a Pro-PDP group, GDI, which is holding another rally in
Degema on Sunday.
”Today’s (Sunday’s) attack came a week after a similar one saw a
Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Magnus Abe, shot by
policemen who also attacked and tear-gassed innocent women and
children, among others.
”As the presidency-backed impunity in Rivers worsens, we at the APC
are left with no choice than to alert all well-meaning Nigerians as
well as the international Community to call President Jonathan to
order, since he has refused to allow peace to reign in the state just
because of his personal ambition.
”Because of the danger this state-backed thuggery can inflict on our
young democracy; because of the harm being done to the polity by
escalating political violence; and because of the fact that impunity
does not breed peace, we will continue to cry out, hoping that reason
will prevail and that President Jonathan will no longer allow his
ambition to be watered by the blood of the same citizens he swore an
oath to protect.
”It is clear that despite the presidency’s loud silence on the Rivers
crisis, it is the architect of the violence in the state, and the 2014 Ekiti and Osun governorship elections and the 2015 general elections are the reasons.
That is why we will not relent in blaming the presidency for the violence. Surely, when the presidency is tired of violence, peace will return to Rivers state,” the party said.
Similarly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned the tacit defence of the Rivers State Police Commissioner Mbu Joseph Mbu by the Police Service Commission (PSC), saying the commission, by its unimaginative action, was only pandering to the Presidency which is the sponsor of the impunity in the state.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party wondered if the PSC understands the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as far as the role of a police commissioner is concerned.
”For the avoidance of doubt, we quote Section 215 (4) of the Constitution, which stipulates: ‘Subject to the provisions of this section, the Governor of a State or such Commissioner of the Government of the State as he may authorize in that behalf, may give to Commissioner of Police of that State such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order within the State as he may consider necessary, and the Commissioner of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with’.”
APC said if the PSC clearly understood the stipulation, it would not only be talking of Mbu being redeployed but should by now be justifying the dismissal of the impudent police boss, who has continuously violated the Constitution not only by refusing to take lawful orders but by also constituting himself into the opposition, the de facto chairman of the PDP, in Rivers.
”If the PSC wants to be truthful, it will admit that no one but the police commissioner has politicized his own office. It will also admit that no one has asked the police commissioner to be the Governor’s errand boy, as claimed by the PSC, but to simply carry out his duties as stipulated by the Constitution. If the PSC still does not understand, it should tell Nigerians in which other state of the federation is a police commissioner usurping the role of the Governor as the Chief Security Officer of the state,” the party said.
It described as disingenuous the decision of the PSC to hing its shameful inaction in the face of the madness being perpetrated by the Rivers police boss on a suit against the commission and the commissioner, saying no court case has prevented the commission from carrying out its statutory duties
”The truth is that the embarrassing situation in Rivers has persisted because the Presidency is the sole sponsor and it does not want peace to reign. The moment President Goodluck Jonathan decides to uphold the Constitution in accordance with his oath of office, Mbu will not last one day on the job.
”The PSC that has now taken it upon itself to defend Mbu and even remind Nigerians how some people have been praising him for doing a good job – all in a bid by the pliant commission to impress the presidency – knows that this President is never hindered by a suit when he decides to pursue his own agenda, as he is doing in Rivers. In case the PSC has forgotten, President Jonathan suspended former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, from office even when his case was in court.
”In any case, one million PSCs will not have been able to save Mbu if his partisanship in Rivers has been in favour of Gov.Chibuike Amaechi. The PSC should therefore spare Nigerians its annoying sophistry and stop hiding behind one finger. The truth is that nothing can justify the police-backed lawlessness, harassment of innocent citizens, disrespect for constituted authority and outright thuggery being perpetrated in Rivers.
”Nigerians know the puppeteer in the Rivers crisis. Nigerians know why the PSC has been ‘handicapped’ in Rivers despite the unprecedented misconduct of the state’s police boss. Therefore, any attempt by anyone, including the spokesperson of the PSC, to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians will fall flat!,” APC said.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has raised alarm over increasing spate of violence in the State masterminded by the Rotimi Amaechi administration, Save Rivers Movement and the All Progressives Congress, APC to continue to create a state of insecurity to justify their call for the removal of the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu.
The party in a statement signed by the Special Adviser, Media, to the State Chairman, Jerry Needam, was reacting to another violence that erupted today Sunday January 19, 2014 at Bori, the traditional headquarters of the Ogoni people.
The crisis which left two Ogoni youth shot and their conditions are very critical and unstable in a private clinic in Port Harcourt, according to reports, followed a local resistance of the APC, Rotimi Amaechi and the Save Rivers Movement by the Ogoni people today in Bori.
The Ogoni people had earlier resolved to reject the APC, and Governor Rotimi Amaechi in the area.
The resistance of the rally by the Ogoni people, prompted the Chairman of Khana Local Government Council, Mr Bariledum Greg Nwiedam, who has lost bearing in the area, to resort to thuggery and violence by hiring thugs who unleashed mayhem on the people from 2am to about 11am today (Sunday Jan. 19, 2014).
The heavily armed thugs came in their numbers and shot sporadically leaving in its trail two Ogoni youth badly shot. One was shot on the leg and another shot in the stomach.
The Chairman of Khana LGC, Mr Nwiedam had in a radio announcement yesterday Saturday January 18, 2014, while making public the event today (Sunday January 19, 2014) said “kana aa ke, e si wee be” meaning “Khana arise, let’s go and fight”
The aim of such provocative message was to recruit, incite, create tension and panic.
Today,Sunday Jan. 19, 2014, the PDP said, the invitation of Khana people to war by the Khana Council Chairman, Mr Nwiedam has been manifested by the crisis witnessed in Bori.
The PDP therefore condemns the violence in Bori today and blamed the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, the APC, Save Rivers Movement and the Chairman of Khana Local Government Area, Mr Bariledum Greg Nwiedam who acted on the instructions of Amaechi to disturb the peace of Ogoni people, shut down Churches, shot innocent youths, wounded others and destroyed properties of innocent people in the area.
“The condition of these youth shot today according to reports, are very critical and unstable” PDP said.
The Rivers State chapter of the PDP is indeed miffed at this trend, shortly after a member of the APC, Mr Chidi Lloyd wilfully attempted to killed Hon Michael Chinda, and also caused the death of another PDP member in Emuoha and a police officer.
We therefore call on the police to arrest the Chairman of Khana Local Government Area, Mr Bariledum Greg Nwiedam who on the instructions of Governor Rotimi Amaechi masterminded the crisis and shooting in Bori today.
This sad shooting at Bori today is coming few days after another shooting incident in Ogun State where 8 APC members were shot in an internal crisis of APC. We condemn APC’s resort to violence in Rivers State and the country.
The Peoples Democratic Party abhors violence and we shall continue to preach peace, unity and progress of Rivers State.
We shall hold Amaechi and APC responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the State as a result of his quest for power.
APC swallows PPA, PDM In Rivers
It was an emotional reunion yesterday (18th January, 2014) when Dr. Ibiamu Davies Ikanya, Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, received and accepted into the APC fold, leaders and members of Princewill Political Associates (PPA) and the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM). Dr Ikanya was erstwhile State Chairman of PPA and the Rivers State Steering Committee Chairman of PDM before his appointment as the Interim Rivers State Chairman of APC.
The carnival-like ceremony held at the State Secretariat of APC situated along Forces Avenue, old GRA, Port Harcourt, marked the formal end and collapsing of PPA and Rivers PDM structures into the APC.
Hon. Ugo Chinnah, an astute politician and a grass-root mobiliser, erstwhile Deputy Chairman and Director of Logistics of PPA and State Chairman, Membership Revalidation of PDM, led the 23 Local Government Chairmen of PDM and PPA and other key members of the State Excos of the two organistaions to the ceremony. The delegation included Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, erstwhile Director of Media and Publicity of PPA and PDM; Comrade VisionPaul Thankgod Aluchi, Deputy Director of Youths; Chief Williams Ikhile, Director of Mobilisation; Donatus Ordu, Director of Finance; Comrade Chapp Jumbo, Director Of Research, Chief Uchenna Okokoba, Director of Non Indigenes and Chinedu Grant-Amadi, the Deputy Woman Leader.
Conspicuously absent from this historical event were Dr. (Mrs.) Edith Wele, the Women Leader, due to ill-health, and Barr. Osima Ginah, former Secretary General of PPA and PDM, who is now a leading light in GDI, the political machinery of Chief Nyesom Wike, the Supervising Minister of Education.
Hon. Chinnah, who wept profusely during the event, stated in his remarks: “I am crying not because of anything but the fact that Prince Tonye Princewill ought to be the one to lead this visit knowing how close he is with Gov Amaechi but instead he is found to be associating with PDP that has demonstrated its disdain against Rivers State and her people and now working
with people who no longer enjoy the confidence of the people of Rivers State.” Hon. Chinnah congratulated Dr. Ikanya for taking the mantle of leadership to spearhead the revolution that will change the course of Rivers State politics forever. He concluded his remarks by condemning the evil that CP joseph Mbu has constituted himself since arriving the State and asked for his immediate redeployment as a matter of urgency.
Dr. Ikanya in his address thanked Hon. Chinnah and all the stakeholders and members of PDM and PPA for taking the bold step of identifying with the political aspirations of Rivers State and her people at this period that PDP politicians are playing politics inimical to the development of our dear State. He assured the decampees that they would be treated as joint founders of APC in Rivers State. “None of you should be intimidated by anybody or group as APC is big enough to accommodate anybody or group”. He described today as historical and the end of opposition in Rivers State knowing the vibrancy the PPA and PDM will bring into APC in Rivers State.
Chief Ikanya expressed displeasure over Prince Tonye Princewill working with PDP politicians that have sworn to make Rivers State ungovernable and promised “to work with Chief Eze, a trusted ally of the Prince, and Hon. Chinna to ensure that Prince Tonye Princewill joins us as soon as possible as PDP is already dead in Rivers State unless he wants to end his blossom political career in the country with a visionless group”
Dr Ikanya further stated that Gov Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi did not inveigle or forced him into joining APC or neither did he cajole Chief Eze or any of us into APC as we are of age to know what is good for our people contrary to some insinuations in some quarters that Gov Amaechi forced us into APC but we were influenced by the wickedness, visionless and undemocratic plots of the current PDP Leadership in the country and decided to join APC to correct the evil that PDP portends for our country.
Princewill Political Associates (PPA) was a very vibrant political force in Rivers State founded by the political associates of one of the most colourful politicians from the Niger Delta region, Prince Tonye Princewill, and headed by Dr Davies. Ikanya from inception. Princewill, commonly addressed by his supporters as the Prince of Niger Delta Politics, is a scion of the Amanyanabo Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State.
PPA is the brain and backbone of PDM in the Niger Delta region. In recognition of the contribution and relevance of the group, Gov. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi appointed Prince Tonye Princewill as the youngest member of the Rivers State Economic and Advisory Committee headed by Prof Nimi Briggs with other great minds from Rivers State as members. Governor Amaechi also influenced his membership of the Presidential Technical Committee on Niger Delta. In addition, Governor Amaechi against all odds and to the chagrin of his kitchen cabinet nominated two members of PPA (Dr. Ibiamu Davies Ikanya as Commissioner in charge of Special Duties and Barr. Osima Ginah as Commissioner of Urban Development) into his cabinet and Chief Williams Igweh, the deputy governorship candidate to Prince Tonye Princewill during the 2007 polls, as Senior Adviser on Political Parties Inter-relationship during his first tenure.
With this development coupled with the formal death of PDP in Rivers State, APC is now posed to rule Rivers State till 2019!