18th May, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
There was commotion at the secretariat of All Progressives Congress, APC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday as police fired teargas and live bullets to disperse protesting members of the party.
The protesters who claimed to be supporters of Senator Magnus Abe had early Wednesday stormed the State Secretariat of the party in Woji road,GRA, Port Harcourt protesting alleged exclusion from the party primaries.
Few of them had arrived the APC State Secretariat as early as 6.30 am armed with placards with varying inscriptions like” No Magnus, no Election”, “APC Rivers where’s our forms”, “2018 about to repeat itself”, “APC does not mean Amaechi Private Company” and others.
The protesters among others, accused the former Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of hijacking materials meant for the party ward Congresses scheduled to hold today.
Some of protesters who spoke complained that even the Electoral College list which was supposed to be published today to know who are assigned to each Wards and local government areas to conduct the Ward primaries were not done.
The protesters vowed that they will not allow the Ward and Local government Congresses to hold unless their demand for transparency in the conduct of the exercise is met.
Another said:”If anybody was sent from the national. Secretariat Abuja,we are not aware.We are hearing that they had already finished the elections. It is sad.”
In reaction to the protest,the APC in Rivers State said it is yet to find out the reason for APC youths protesting at the party Secretariat.
Chris Finebone, the Publicity Secretary of the party said: “We have noticed a gathering of some youths at the gate of the party Secretariat. We are yet not been able to ascertain their mission is though
however,the materials for the Wards and local government congresses have been sent to the 319 Wards in the 23 local government Council areas of the State.
“We expect that the Ward and Local government congresses to commence and conclude today, Wednesday as planned. We are going to find out the purpose for the gathering at the State Secretariat gate and for what purpose as soon as we are able to identify the leader of the mob if any,” Finebone said.
But a detachment of policemen later dispersed the protesting party supporters with teargas and firing live bullets into the at party Secretariat.
Journalists who were at party Secretariat had to scamper for safety. In the ensuing commotion, Somebody,yet to be identified fell face down and was motionless.
It was difficult to know if the individual had seizures or was dead.
However, the Rivers State Police Command had dismissed reports that anybody died.
Our Correspondent reports that there has been a long drawn battle the former Senator Magnus Abe, who represented Rivers South East Senatorial District in the Senate and Rotimi Amaechi, former Minister of Transportation for the structure of the party.
The squabble led to the exclusion of the party on the ballot in 2019 general elections.
Amaechi has declared interest to contest for the office of President,while Abe has picked form to contest for the Governorship position and both are canvassing for support from delegates.
Abe is also supporting and campaigning for Bola Ahmed Tinubu to get the presidential ticket of APC