Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Three persons and a soldier have been reportedly killed as elections turned violent in Rivers state, Southsouth Nigeria on Saturday.
One was killed with a machete in Ozuoha, in Ikwerre Local Government Area.
Another person was allegedly shot dead by a soldier at Alode-Eleme Ward 3, Unit 2.
There was also a report that an Ogoni youth known as Mr. Saturday Nkirine was killed in Kpite in Tai Local Government Area.
Brigadier Essien Essien of 2 Brigade has confirmed the killing of a soldier at Wimpey area, Ward 9 in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area.
He told Governor Chibuike Amaechi that one his soldiers was killed.
There were reported cases of shooting in Buguma, Asari Toru local government, houses were reportedly burnt in Bera, Senator Abe’s community in Gokana local government area.
However APC in Rivers State has decried the killing of its members and disenfranchising them in various parts of the State.
“Armed militias working for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have intensified their killing of APC members. Scores have already been killed and several others marked for elimination. In Kpite Town, Tai Ward 2 and other areas of the State, five people were shot dead by PDP’s armed militia, and that was before accreditation commenced,” he said.
Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said in a statement in Port Harcourt. Pictures of our killed members are attached.
Lamenting his party’s ordeal, Ikanya said: “It is sad that PDP and its collaborators are targeting APC strongholds and chieftains for attacks and killings. To intimidate our people and contrary to the court ruling forbidding the use of the Army in this election, there has been a massive deployment of soldiers in the state with clear instruction to shoot at sight any APC agent that refuses to comply with the evil plot of PDP to write the results of the election at some designated areas of the state in favour of PDP.”
Chief Ikanya gave the following specific examples of APC’s travails: “Hon. Chidiebere Okwuwolu, former Commissioner and currently an APC leader, was arrested by police and taken to Olu Obasanjo Police Station in Port Harcourt along with 99 other arrested APC members in various Police Stations in the State.
“At Ubima, the home town of Governor Chibuike Amaechi, the INEC results sheets are currently with Chief Nyesome Wike, the gubernatorial candidate of PDP in Rivers State. Governor Amaechi has refused to embark upon any accreditation because of lack of result sheets in all the polling units in the state, a situation contrived by INEC and PDP to make room for PDP to rig the election.
“At Andoni, the Local Government Area of Rivers State APC Chairman, and Chief Uche Secondus, the National Vice Chairman of PDP and his cousin, Engr Tele Ikuru (the Deputy Governor of Rivers State who a few days defected to PDP) hell has been let loose; electoral materials have been hijacked by PDP agents in connivance with the Army that has been threatening to arrest and kill any APC chieftains in sight.”
Meanwhile, Rivers State PDP governorship candidate, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that despite the initial challenges of accreditation occasioned by the card readers, elections in the state have been peaceful and transparent.
Speaking after casting his vote at Unit 7 Ward 9 in Obio/ Akpor LGA during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, Wike commended Rivers State indigenes for turning out en masse and peacefully exercising their franchise.
He said that what happened in Rivers State was an indication that the people are committed to protecting democracy, which has transformed their lives.
He expressed happiness that contrary to the speculation that the elections will be marred by violence, the Rivers people proved that they believe in developmental electioneering process.
He noted that reports received from PDP agents across Rivers State show that the elections have been successful, aside the accreditation challenges witnessed in the morning.
He urged INEC to take proactive measures to resolve the accreditation challenges regarding the card readers in respect of elections on April 11.
He was accompanied to the voting unit by his wife, Justice Suzzette. Both of them voted at Unit 7 Ward 9 of Obio/Akpor LGA.