· Says attacks on rallies without arrests are getting out of hand
By Ignatius Chukwu
The police boss in Rivers State has again come under attack by the All Progressives Congress (APC) demanding again for his replacement.
Shooting was said to have overtaken the atmosphere in Bori area of Khana LGA of Rivers State while a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Boma Brown, was said to have been abducted while arranging campaign ground in nearby Opobo.
Now, the APC in Rivers State has emphatically placed a demand for the immediate removal of the Commissioner of Police in the state.
The call was made again Tuesday, January 31, 2023, in reaction to attacks at the APC campaign ground in Opobo where the party’s governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, was to appear.
The call was contained in a statement signed by Sogbeye C. Eli, spokesman of the Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council.
He said the attack on the Rivers APC governorship campaign rally grounds at Opobo Tuesday morning ahead of the arrival of the architect, Tonye Cole, is yet another red flag to the boiling cauldron that the State political environment has become on the watch of Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong Okon.
“Sequel to the attack that had canopies and public address system at the venue vandalized by identified PDP hoodlums, armed men snatched the LGA Campaign Coordinator, Boma Brown, and sped out of the town with him.
“However, their plot was aborted in Bori, headquarters of Khana LGA, when the Sienna car in which he was whisked away was intercepted at Bori Roundabout following distress calls by terrified party faithful.”
Eli wrote that an exchange of gunfire was also recorded between a team of policemen that claimed to have rescued the victim (Boma Brown) on the orders of the Divisional Police Officer, Bori, and those attached to the Rivers State APC chairman, Emeka Beke, at Kaana Petroleum filling Station in Bori when one of the police officers opened fire that could have killed Beke.
This incident, he stated, followed on the heels of the alleged forceful disruption the previus day of the Oyigbo rally grounds by men of the Nigeria Police which he said compelled the governorship candidate to campaign on the Old Aba Road adjacent to the open space initially approved by the DPO, has further reinforced the urgency for the redeployment of the Commissioner of Police from the State to avert crisis.
“We recall that the Rivers APC governorship campaign rally ground in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area was attacked with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and sporadic gunfire, a development which the Commissioner of Police denied before ordering an investigation. No report of the investigation is made public and no arrest has been made till date.
“Another disruption of our Andoni rally at Asarama was also reported without a single arrest.”
Eli reminded the world that campaign activities of the governorship candidates of Accord Party, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, and the Social Democratic Party, Magnus Abe, have suffered similar unprovoked attacks at Etche, Oyigbo, Port Harcourt, Tai, and Ahoada West local council areas over the last couple of days without any deterrence measure by the State Police Command.
“In the circumstance, we call on both the Inspector-General of Police and National Security Adviser to enforce their commitments at the commencement of the campaign season not to allow state governors suppress or interfere with the rights of other political parties involved in campaign activities in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.
“We maintain that is the only guarantee to restore sanity in States like Rivers that have been made volatile by anti-democratic forces working in active connivance with compromised Police Commissioners.”