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6 feared killed as violence mars elections in Rivers

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Tele Ikuru, Deputy Governor Of Rivers state.  Wikipedia

Tele Ikuru, Deputy Governor Of Rivers state. Wikipedia

Outbreak of violence has  left at least six persons dead and low turnout marred the Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State.

Governor  Chibuike Amaechi who was almost attacked by irate youths when he stopped over at Omagwu, in Ikwerre Local Government Area,  to probe allegation  that electoral materials meant for the area had been diverted, described the election as sham.
Armed political thugs invaded a collation centre in Buguma in Asari Local Government Area, Rivers State, killing at least five  persons and burnt some houses.
An eye witness who is a political party agent in Buguma told The Guardian that some unidentifiable gunmen stormed the Kalabari National College, in the early hours of yesterday where electoral materials were being distributed and demanded that all sensitive materials should be handed over to them.  She explained the gunmen chased party agents and National Youths Service Corps members into a building and started shooting.  And before snatching the materials, the gunmen shot at least five persons, out of which two are said to be security personnel, set the collation centre ablaze and damaged other  electoral materials.
Asari Toru council chairman, Ojukaye  Flag-Amaechree, explained that at about 1:40pm, no accreditation had taken place in Buguma because people were scare of coming out to participate in the polls.
It was also alleged that the home of the Rivers State Commissioner of Women Affairs, Mrs. Joe-eba West, was torched in Buguma. It was gathered that political thugs threw explosive suspected to be dynamite at her residence and laid siege there for several minutes.
On the eve of yesterday’s polls, a policeman was shot dead at Rex Lawson Street, in the old Port Harcourt area. The police confirmed the killing and has commended investigation into the killing.
Similarly, armed gunmen shot dead the youth leader of the All Progressives Congress in Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni Local Government Area, Mr. Felix Orukokwu, at Idu community. Sources told The Guardian that unknown gunmen stormed Idu while accreditation was still going on and opened fire at the youth leader.
The APC governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside, alleged that seven persons were killed in Ogba/Egbema/ Ndoni local government area.
Calls to the police spokesperson, Ahmad Mohammad, to ascertain Peterside’s claims were proved abortive as he didn’t pick or return the call at press time.
Irrespective of about 17,000 policemen deployed to provide security, there were skirmishes at Ozuoba, Bomu, Norwa and several other parts of the state due to wanton snatching of electoral materials.
Following allegation that result sheets had been diverted at Omagwu, Governor Amaechi who was on his way to his hometown, Ubima, had to stop by to ascertain the veracity of the claim. Immediately he alighted from his car, some irate youths suspected to be members of an opposition party, vehemently protested that he should leave the place as he is not legally supposed to be there
And when the youths became some unruly, the governor was barricaded by his security men and shortly afterwards, more policemen and soldiers were delayed to ensure the safety of the governor and prevent a breakdown of law and order.
Shortly after his accreditation at Ubima, Governor Amaechi told journalists that he had received report of killings and snatching of electoral materials. He decried the purported redeployment of the AIG Zone 6, Tunde Ogunsakin from Rivers State and described the election as a sham.
At Eleme, military arrested some fake policemen in Alesa-Eleme and taken away. Shortly after the soldiers left, some youths arrived the area and staring hijacking of ballot boxes and result sheets.
Fracas broke out at State Primary School, Olanada Rumuola, where some persons had attempted to snatch sensitive electoral materials.  This was followed by a prolonged altercation which resulted in the destruction of electoral materials and manhandling of a police man.
Similar incident occurred at Rumuomasi where attempt to snatch electoral materials resulted in a free fight by party agents. By the time The Guardian got to the area, broken ballot boxes and voting materials littered the road.
In Bera and several communities in Gokana Local Government Area, there were no electoral officials at press time.
In Emohua, it was alleged that materials were snatched and no accreditation had taken place at press time.

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11 Comments
  • Emem Sunday Umoh

    Guardian, your map shows CROSS RIVER STATE, NOT RIVERS STATE!!!! PLEASE BE FOCUS!!!!

  • simssoon

    madan peace at work what a shame

    • denupa

      Idiot. I live in Port-Harcourt, less than 7 kilometres from Govt House where Governor Amaechi lives, and I know for a fact that Amaechi is responsible for much of the violence ravaging the state. Rivers State had always been a one party state, with the PDP winning every governorship election by about 94%. Amaechi seems to think that because he himself changed parties last year, the entire state had automatically changed parties with him. Hence he talks and behaves as if Rivers State is an APC State whereas it isn’t.

      • Edward Osadebay

        Stupidity has a new name

      • Yoko Zuna

        We must always vote for PDP, even if Jesus HIMSELF is against PDP.

  • Osanebi Osakuni

    Please my Rivers brothers and sisters give me one fervour: beating APC by miles. In Delta state, it will be on record as the only state APC couldn’t make a second position through out Nigeria. Defeat them in Rivers so that we can all sit down, discuss and take our destiny in our hands.We have all won our National Assembly Sits except one in Edo, South East have also made a similar statement. It is evident that Nigeria is a country of unreconciled nationalities and the time is becoming right to fix up issues through restructuring the polity.

    • Yoko Zuna

      Ok, how much your PDP master will pay me?

    • Don Harris

      I am not a partisan person and have no sympathy for any of the political parties. But it’s difficult to understand why most people from PDP or sympathetic to it have become so bitter over their electoral loss at the centre,that they’re resorting to sectional and ethnic politics and sentiments. PDP used to have spread across the better part of the geo-political zones,which was why they dominated the polity for 16 years,until,the house fell apart and disintegrated,which caused its dismal outing at the polls lately. Having been defeated by a coalition of the parties who were in opposition all these years,the wisest thing to do now is to return to the drawing board,rather than whining and sounding like bad losers by expressing primordial sentiments,to re-evaluate their last electoral game-plan and find out why it failed to yield the expected result.The party needs to re-invent itself through thorough planning and reorganization of its structures and strategies.It’s not time to feel defeatist they’re obviously doing.If you try and fail,you should try again and again,like GMB,until you succeed.And that can only happen if you refused to allow temporary defeat to crush you.There is nothing wrong about failure,but the way you respond to it.

      • Osanebi Osakuni

        My dear I was attracted by your claim to be non partisan politician like I am. I only requested to voters to vote out certain corrupt people among us who stole to finance Buhari in an election whose campaign mantra was anti corruption. That seems belated now because it is exactly what has happened. However, if you are truly non partisan, you should have observation that Mr President was the least desperate politician in the last contest, he never complained of the long line of children seen on TV voting in the North, he never complained against a Kano state result with very high illiteracy level turning out almost 2M votes without voided ones. He simply picked up his reached phone and called Buhari to wish him well. Absolutely stunning. If you are partisan then you probably have killed more than Amaechi.

  • Veritylives

    How can Guardian, a foremost Nigeria newspapers not know the difference between Cross River State and Rivers State? APC journalists in Guardian at work because they don’t travel out of Lagos nor lived outside Lagos. A shame!

  • Yoko Zuna

    Guardian editor, please change your map – Rivers State, not Cross Rivers.