28th January, 2023
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers has lambasted the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Tonye Cole for calling on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the State because of rising political violence.
Cole had made the call following recent alleged bomb attack that at the venue of the campaign of APC in Port Harcourt and similar attacks at the campaign grounds of other opposition parties in Rivers.
APC and other opposition parties have blamed officials of Rivers State government for the attack and rising political violence in the state ahead of the forthcoming election.
However, the PDP and Rivers State Government had repeatedly denied the accusation.
But the PDP, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, described the call by Cole, as uncharitable and a reflection of has shown how unprepared the APC is to face the people of the state in the campaign for the forthcoming election.
PDP, in the statement signed by its Director of Publicity and Communications, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke, said contrary to postulations by Cole, Rivers State is peaceful and safe as Governor Nyesom Wike is committed to protection of lives and property of the people.
“Patiently, we have waited to see if the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Rivers State, Mr. Tonye Cole will eminently dissociate himself from media reports associating him with calls for the declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers State.
“Since no official statement distancing Mr. Cole from the rather bizarre, reckless and hasty call in the media has been issued, our assumption is that he actually uttered those rather worrisome and unfortunate words”.
It further noted that there are states in the Northeast as well as the Southeast where public safety and public security are threatened on a massive scale, yet there has been no call for the declaration of state of emergency in those these places.
PDP accused Tonye Cole and the APC of planning to stall elections in Rivers State by engaging in lawless acts and undermining order.
“In calling for a state of emergency in Rivers State, Cole, a dual citizen who has lost track of how reality works; is simply saying Rivers’ people should be disallowed from voting.
“This means that several years after Cole’s bosom friend, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi shutdown the courts in Rivers State, the APC is determined this time to prevent Rivers’ voters from choosing their leaders.
“This attempt by Cole to shutdown Rivers’ voters shows how insensitive and desperate he and his backers have become. It simply proves that he does not understand what it takes to lead a state as complex and critical as Rivers State.
“While we condemn attempts to create problems where they do not exist, we, urge, Cole and others like him to prepare for elections instead of laying needless booby traps.”