By Gladys Nweke
The Rivers State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Cole, has said postponing the elections prevented violence in Rivers.
According to him, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had deployed over 2,000 armed thugs in his Abonnema-Kalabari hometown, headquarters of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area.
Spokesman of the Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation, Hon Ogbonna Nwuke, said Abonnema and neighbouring communities were under siege at the weekend. He was shocked at the flagrant disregard for the peace accord signed by political parties, and urged security operatives to take steps to protect life and property.
Cole said, it is now evident that attempts by PDP leaders in Rivers State to accuse APC members of violence is a ploy to cover their plan to inflict harm on innocent and defenceless citizens.
Shooting in Abonnema and neighbouring communities started about 9pm on Friday and continued till February 16. The sporadic gunshots were laced with blasts of dynamite, all aimed at intimidating voters and preventing APC members from participating in the elections.
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to do the needful by placing the Rivers APC on the ballot, stressing that postponing the elections provided the opportunity to do the right thing.
Meanwhile, the Director of Information and Communications of Rivers Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, Emma Okah, said APC is afraid of elections, having seen the defeat ahead of them.
Hon Okah accused INEC of working with the APC-led Federal Government to truncate democracy, saying Nigerians would certainly vent their anger on the failed APC government for the frustration and hardship it had brought upon the land.