One feared killed as suspected political thugs attack PDP members in Rivers State
• Govt, party accuse APC of complicity • Attackers are aggrieved PDP members, says opposition
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ipo community, Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State, Samuel Nwanosike, was at Wednesday night attacked by suspected political thugs.
The hoodlums, alleged to be members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also killed one PDP supporter, while others who sustained bullet wounds are currently receiving treatment in a hospital.
It was learnt that the attack was carried out when the PDP chieftains visited Ipo community for a ward-to-ward sensitization on the permanent voter’s card.
A source who witnessed the incident narrated that the council chairman, Nwanosike, narrowly escaped assassination with other PDP leaders in the area because they were in a bullet proof vehicle.
The source, who did not want his name printed, disclosed that the attackers numbering over 30, were fully armed as they invaded the scene shooting sporadically. They vandalised vehicles and carted away some items.
The PDP leaders have condemned the attack, describing it as primitive, shocking and devastating. The state chairman of PDP, Felix Obuah, said it was wrong for APC to resort to violence and killing of innocent citizens.
Obuah, who sympathised with the council chairman and other victims, blamed the incident on what he described as infiltration and hijack of political leadership of some political parties in the state by murder suspects.
The Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Darlington Orji, who confirmed the incident, said: “The thugs attacked us around 2.pm. They killed one of our members. We informed the security agencies of the threats and signal we received earlier and it has happened.”
The state government also accused APC of masterminding the attack.
In a statement, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Emma Okah, said attack on innocent persons would not be toleraed by the government. He urged the police and other security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to book.
The statement appealed to PDP members to remain calm and avoid any reprisal action as two wrongs do not make a right.
The APC, in a swift reaction, denied involvement in the attack, alleging that the attackers were allies of PDP who felt abandoned by their party.
The Publicity Secretary of APC, Chris Finebone, said: “We know nothing about what they are talking about. We understand their attackers are their former allies who killed and maimed APC members in 2015 and subsequent rerun elections who feel abandoned by the PDP.”
“At least, that’s the information we are hearing. If they truly have credible information about complicity of anyone, why didn’t they approach security agents for arrests and investigation?
“Our real worry is that the PDP knows that they brought this on themselves. They only want to use it to lay a foundation for a fresh narrative that will kickstart fresh round of violence as the 2019 elections approach. You know that they thrive on violence.”
The spokesman of the state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, who also confirmed the incident, said the police were aware of the incident but not any death.
Omoni said three persons sustained bullet wounds in the attack by yet to be identified gunmen.
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