The Greater Together Campaign Organisation, GTCO, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to as a matter of urgency, call the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Ezebuwon Nyesom Wike, and the armed wing of the party in Rivers State, Grassroot(sic) Development Initiative, GDI, to order before they set the entire state ablaze. GTCO has accordingly, condemned the Tuesday attack launched on members of All Progressives Congress, APC, and other 16 political parties under the aegis of ‘Concerned Political Parties in Rivers State’ by members of the GDI, saying the unprovoked aggression during which the PDP militia used dangerous weapons leading to injuries, was undemocratic and meant to provoke other political parties. “PDP is doing everything possible, including the use of force and deployment of its armed militia, the goal being to create anarchy and render Rivers State insecure for free and fair election, thereby achieve its plan to scuttle Nigeria’s democracy”, GTCO’s statement read in part.
The Dr. Peterside campaign outfit in a statement on Tuesday by Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, who is the Director of Communications, wondered why Wike and PDP would send their armed militia to attack innocent Nigerians who had gone to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to deliver a protest letter to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, over the lopsided recruitment of Supervisory Presiding Officers, SPOs, for the March 28 and April 11 elections, respectively. “We must bring to the attention of Mr. President that Wike and PDP are set on burning down Rivers State especially now that it is clearer that they will be beaten silly at the coming polls. But must Rivers State go down with Wike? Must Wike and PDP shed more blood of Rivers people just to achieve their goal? Or, are they building a blood bank for a Fraternity? Must Wike climb to power through the path of blood?”, the campaign organisation asked.
GTCO noted that INEC, as a democratic institution, created a space for complaints from members of the public and political parties over its lists of ad-hoc electoral officials, which it noted, was what the 17 political parties set out to explore. “Rather than allow those political parties exercise their rights, and let INEC listen, PDP assumed the role of a tyrannical referee, throwing stones, hitting people with sticks and other dangerous weapons. In their rage, they attacked even journalists doing their legitimate job, wounding several including Mr. Ibrahim Lawal of TopNews Newspaper, at whom the PDP militia hauled a heavy stone while he attempted an escape. Lawal suffered deep cut on his right leg. Other dangerous weapons were freely used on other journalists including the Newswatch Times Correspondent, Nath Omame, who suffered bodily harm. PDP turned what would have passed on peacefully to a battleground.
“As law-abiding citizens, we will always channel our complaints appropriately trusting that justice would be done at the end. Part of this belief in institutional intervention is our belief that as Commander-in-Chief and national leader of PDP, President Jonathan has the authority to cage this roaming lion in Rivers State, even though they belong to the same political party and are desperate to win their respective elections. But it was Mr. President who had declared that his presidential ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian. Unfortunately, in a reversal of diction, since PDP launched its campaign of Operation-Fill-Our-Blood-Bank in Rivers State, killing and maiming, Jonathan had yet to condemn it, giving us room to suspect presidential acquiescence to the killing field that is Rivers State. We are more pained that PDP’s latest blood-letting came within 24 hours of the visit of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to Port Harcourt. Jonathan should be statesmanlike and call Wike to order except he wants to tell us that the crimes against humanity and genocide gradually creeping into Rivers State have his approval. Unless Jonathan is saying that, then, he must act now.
“PDP, as lawless as it is, must learn to play by the rules. Its actions yet show it has learnt nothing these 17 years it has been in power. GTCO warned that should Jonathan fail to act immediately and in a non-partisan manner, Wike and his armed group would extend their current regime of terror on Rivers natives and other Nigerian citizens residing and doing business in the state. Jonathan in his conspiratorial silence would be supervising the wrecking of a state with great potentials.