·APC says their members were attacked while going to inspect INEC documents
·Tension in PH as one shot as APC, PDP clash in front of INEC office
·Skit maker, female companion, crash to death into refuse truck in PH
By Ignatius Chukwu
The travails of Tonye Cole, the Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, seems to increase every hour.
By evening of Monday, April 3, 2023, the defeated candidate stood in the middle of the road in the GRA close to APC state secretariat and faced a mob suspected to from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
When asked why he stood there, he said was ready to be killed in the glare of the public, if that was what the politics of Rivers State has come to.
He narrated to newsmen how he was attacked at the INEC headquarters by PDP members who came for protest.
Cole had emerged from the police command where he slept all night guarding the materials his team gathered to file a petition. The materials had been confiscated by a police team that arrested three lawyers and five workers trying to build up their election tribunal petition, accusing them of printing fake INEC documents and results.
Having managed to free the detainees and protected the materials, he moved to go inspect the INEC materials as approved only to run into an earlier PDP members on protest led by the chairman of Ikwerre local council, Samuel Nwanosike, and deputy speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Edison Ehie.
Cole told newsmen that the PDP members began to throw pure water sachets and stones at him. He said a big stone landed on his shoulder making his security details to bundle him into the car for escape.
He said as he and his team were re-strategising at the APC secretariat, the mob marched down heading to the offices. He said the security engaged them. He thus came out and asked the mob to go ahead and kill him.
He said he got intel that the plan was to hold him hostage until the deadline for filing would elapse. “I have come out for them to kill me, if they want, if this is what politics is now in Rivers State. They said they won an election, ok, allow me to go to the tribunal to prove it, they do not want it”.
Earlier in the day, shooting took place at GRA as APC, PDP supporters clashed. This was because supporters of the PDP and the APC clashed. One person was shot and injured by a stray bullet. The Independent National Electoral Commission’s office is located along Aba Road in Port Harcourt, and earlier PDP members demonstrated in front of it.
The PDP protesters had told newsmen they wanted all political parties to jointly examine election materials. Cole had said he would storm INEC office to demand for the release of Certified True Copies of the documents used for the March 18 governorship election so that the party could begin the election petition tribunal process.
Reports said while the PDP protests continued, Cole arrived at the GRA area of Aba Road with the state APC chairman, Emeka Beke, and other party leaders. This was when stoning Cole took place. It was said to be same time the shot was fired ostensibly by a guard trying to defend himself.
Anti-riot police officers, soldiers, and NSCDC officers tried to restore normalcy.
To add to the tension in the city, a popular skit maker, John Kennedy Kanu aka Bros Jay Kay, crashed into a refuse truck with his female companion.
The crash took place in Rumuodara East-West Road in Port Harcourt.