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Dynamite injures APC supporters in Rivers rally

By Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt) and Michael Egbejule (Benin City)
20 January 2023   |   4:30 am
• As one dies of gunshot in Edo PDP campaign Improvised substance, suspected to be dynamite, exploded at a rally organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State. This is as the flag-off of Edo Central Senatorial campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) turned violent and one person was reportedly shot dead,…

APC

• As one dies of gunshot in Edo PDP campaign

Improvised substance, suspected to be dynamite, exploded at a rally organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
This is as the flag-off of Edo Central Senatorial campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) turned violent and one person was reportedly shot dead, while others sustained injuries.

In the Rivers incident, supporters of the party, whose leader is former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, sustained injuries.

The victims, mostly women and youths, were evacuated to undisclosed hospitals for treatment.

The Guardian gathered that trouble started during a disagreement between youths of Rumuji community, owners of the Igboukwu field, and APC officials over access to the field.

The youths were said to have prevented the party from holding the rally at the field located near popular Mile One Market in Port Harcourt City Council.

An eyewitness, Mrs Ijeoma Amadi, said: “We were in our shops near Mile One Market when we heard the sound of explosion at the venue where the rally was going on. As we moved to observe what was going on, the sound became heavier and we saw some persons injured, blood gushing out.

“Party officials had quarrelled with youths of the community over access to the venue of the rally before the explosion occurred.”

When The Guardian visited the scene, people were seen discussing in groups.

Rivers State Publicity Secretary of APC, Darlington Nwauju, confirmed the incident, describing it as a “black day in Rivers.”

He said: “It is another black day in the annals of democracy, where all sorts of underhand strategies are being deployed to frustrate opposition political parties in Rivers State.

He claimed the party had received intelligence of plans to attack key opposition politicians in the state.

Contacted, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, said he was yet to get details on the incident, stating that they were meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike, on some crucial issues in the state and promised to get back to the reporter after the meeting.

Rivers State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe Koko, promised to get back to the reporter on the incident.
ON the Edo incident, it was gathered that it happened at Ward 7 at Ewu community in Esan Central Council.

The campaign Director for the council, Anselm Ojezua, in a statement made available to newsmen in Benin City, said the clash had been reported to the police for investigation.

Ojezua confirmed that one life was lost while others sustained injuries.

He added that due to the incident, the party has decided to suspend all political campaign rallies until the police come up with their investigation and findings.

He said: “Today’s campaign rally had a sad occurrence as it was gathered that while the rally was ongoing in Ward 7, gunshots were heard some distance away from where the rally was taking place.

“Disturbed by the shots, leaders of the PDP leading the rally, decided to lead their members and supporters to safe location.

“The PDP as a peace-loving political party, which understands the place of the rule of law in a constitutional democracy, has reported this sad and unfortunate occurrence to the police for thorough investigation.”

He told supporters of the party that campaign rallies would resume shortly.