By Nwaorgu Faustinus
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has been urged to place premium on the lives of residents of the state.
This appeal was made by the Rivers State chapter of opposition party in the state, All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party said in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr Chris Finebone, that it was miffed and highly disturbed that since the nomination process for a legally compromised local government council election for chairmen and councillors by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, shootings and maiming have, once again, resumed across the state.
The party noted that it was important to mention that the charade of an election is being organized by the PDP and for the PDP even though some fringe parties claim to participate.
According to the Rivers APC, it is shocking to note that mere primaries for chairmen and councillors for a supposed local council election will result in the large scale shootings, maiming and violence that are now further compounding the dangers of kidnapping, robberies and killings that Rivers people and residents are living under.
“It is important to mention that the ongoing PDP-on-PDP orgy of violence underscores our consistent position that Gov. Wike and the PDP are responsible for the spate of killings and violence that have bedevilled Rivers State before, during and after the 2015 and subsequent elections in Rivers State.
“These killings, whether in ONELGA or other areas of Rivers State, members of the APC have remained the target. So far, over 1000 APC souls have been lost to this PDP violence in the State from 2014 to date.
“Curiously but noteworthy is that, with the eruption of violence in the ongoing PDP council primaries in Rivers State, all doubts about those who are responsible for the electoral violence in the State have been cleared. Sadly, the violence by PDP members on fellow PDP members still carry collateral consequences on law-abiding people and residents of Rivers State including peace-loving members of the APC.
“Again, even as resort to violence takes centre stage in the ongoing PDP primaries, other electoral malfeasances are reportedly being perpetrated across the State.
“In Isiokpo, one Chukwudi Dimkpa has accused Gov. Wike and his henchmen of imposition of candidates. In Etche, materials were reportedly hijacked and aspirants beaten into coma. In Ibaa, individuals diverted materials. Similar cases have been reported across the State.
“The APC believes that the present electoral malfeasance by the PDP has cleared all doubts and re-affirmed that PDP and its members are responsible for all deaths, pains and agonies the people and residents of Rivers State have had to go through from 2014 to date. To the PDP, electoral misbehaviour is ingrained in their DNA hence the ease with which they unleash it even upon their own members.
“Governor Nyesom Wike must go beyond disqualifying his gun-toting boys from contesting PDP primaries, he must rein them in and allow law-abiding citizens to have their peace across the State. It is said that you may borrow trouble but you should not lend it to your neighbour.
“More importantly, the APC calls on the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Police Command and all other heads of security agencies in the State to do the needful to ensure that the PDP-on-PDP violence currently pervading the state is contained from spilling out into full scale war.
“Residents and people of Rivers State have been through too much, further pains should not be brought on innocent people by a bunch of blood-thirsty hooligans whose only pathway to electoral office is violence, killing and maiming having learnt same from their leader, Governor Nyesom Wike,” the party said in the statement.