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Peterside condemns bomb attack on APC Secretariat in Okrika, Commends APC members for their maturity

By Bekee Anyalewechi
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Dr. Dakuku Peterside, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Rivers State has condemned in very strong terms, the multiple bomb explosions that rocked the APC secretariat in Okrika this morning.

The APC candidate who was accompanied to the scene of the explosion by Hon. Andrew Uchendu, APC senatorial candidate; Hon. Maureen Tamuno, House of Representatives candidate; party leaders in the local government and other APC supporters expressed shock at this latest attack which he said portends danger, if unchecked, for next month's election.

“It is very sad and unfortunate that some persons in society have decided to chose this path. If you notice, there has been a pattern of violence. On 6th January, when we had our presidential rally at Adokiye Amasiemaka Stadium, you would have noted that some of our party members who were coming from Abonnema, Degema and Asari-Toru were attacked around Sama Junction. The persons who were also coming from Khana and Gokana were also attacked around Sakpenwa Junction. Some other group coming for the same rally were attacked around Elele.

And fingers point to the other political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. We have raised these issues with the commissioner of police and the security agencies but not much action has been seen.

“Aside from this, you would have also observed a trend even among them. A few days ago they were in Abonnema to campaign and a faction of PDP fought with another faction of PDP; two persons are now confirmed dead. They have also exhibited several other acts of violence at many other instances. That portends serious danger for our democracy.

“I don't want to believe that this signposts what to expect on February 14 and 28 because Rivers people are ordinarily peace loving and we reject violence. I am optimistic that police will do something about this pattern of violence that we are currently witnessing. If they don't, they will force ordinary people to resort to self-help and self-help does not do anyone any good.”

Peterside who described the explosions as an ugly resurgence commended members of APC in Okrika for their maturity. He said he was not surprised that members of his party did not retaliate because APC members fully appreciate the fact that politically instigated violence does no one any good.

The APC candidate however linked the violence to the string of successes so far recorded by his party in the state, calling on PDP to meet the people and campaign, rather than resorting to violence.

“Yesterday, we thought we had a very successful and peaceful rally in Bonny and series of meetings which made a symbolic statement that Rivers State people are going APC all the way. You can see that there is a link between success of our party and this violence being visited on both human beings and our property. This one is the latest.

“The report we have is that early this morning, there were series of explosions. Our people who live around the neighbourhood rushed out but they couldn't intercept anyone. The police have been accordingly briefed. Let us hope they will unearth the perpetrators of this violence this time around. It is in their best interest. It is also in the best interest of Nigerians and democracy.

“We are very concerned because we know that members of our party are peace loving, no doubt we are very organised people and they cannot continue to visit violence on us forever. We have continuously preached to our people that non-violent ways remain the best way to fight for a just cause and achieve results.

“We know God is with us, the people of Rivers State are with us also. We will continue to preach peace because Rivers people have already rejected the party of violence. If all the people are dead, who will they govern? And so let me enjoin Okrika people and indeed all people of Rivers State to remain peaceful, we have faith in the security agencies. The process might be slow but the enforcement of law is fundamental to peace in any society. We are confident that the security agencies will do their work and fish out those behind this act. For our party leaders in Okrika, please continue to preach the message of peace, don't give up, don't be pessimistic, the future is bright.”

In the same vein, Uchendu called for peace. He described the attack as a clear indication that PDP and its candidates have already lost. He enjoined the people to reject violence and the party that promotes it.

“You know that they are always fighting. They fought at their party secretariat in Port Harcourt, they fought along the road and they also fought in Abuja. I am the political spokesman of the Ikwerre people and we have made it loud and clear, power must shift. Wike is our son, we have said, wait till next time, let other ethnic groups try too. This is why the Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers declared Peterside is their candidate.

Ibim Semenitari
Director, Communications




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