THE All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Nigerian Police Force of failing to investigate attacks on its members by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State.
Reacting to the Monday, April 3, attack on its governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, and other party stalwarts at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the APC, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, expressed concern over what it described as the ‘orgy of violence’ on its members in the state by the PDP.
Describing the attacks as barbaric, the party said the violence fell short of democratic tenets.
The ICIR reported how thugs pounced on Cole and other Rivers’ APC chieftains and supporters while attempting to gain entrance into the INEC office in the state capital.
“This barbaric and unprovoked attack occurred during a visit to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s office by Mr. Tonye Cole, APC Governorship Candidate, Dr. Innocent Barikor, Deputy Governorship Candidate, Mr. Emeka Beke, State Chairman of the Party and three other party officials to obtain the Certified True Copies (CTC) of vital documents in the March 18 Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“Without warning, thugs and supporters of the PDP descended on our party officials, inflicting severe and life-threatening injuries on them and damaging personal and party properties.
“This premeditated attack by PDP thugs and operatives on our officials and members in Port Harcourt is yet another in what has now become an orgy of violence carried out with mind-boggling audacity and with absolutely no serious investigation by the police or repercussions for the instigators and perpetrators of this serial violence,” part of the party’s statement reads.
The APC said Monday’s attack was aimed at frustrating its governorship candidate’s efforts to obtain vital documents to exercise his constitutional right to challenge the declared result of the governorship election in the state.
It added that the decision of the PDP, declared the election winner by INEC, to resort to violence by blocking a legitimate legal challenge smacks off “a party sitting precariously on needles and pins in the face of prospects of a legal challenge by our governorship candidate.”
Despite accusing the Police of not doing enough to apprehend those attacking its members in the state, the party commended the Police and other security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, for swiftly restoring peace and order in the wake of the attack.
It called on the Inspector General of Police to order an urgent and thorough investigation into the last attack and previous violent attacks on its leaders and members and to bring the sponsors and perpetrators to book.
Cole lost the governorship election to PDP’s Siminalayi Fubara, who won with 302,614 votes. The APC candidate got 95,274 votes but rejected the result declared by INEC.
Cole insists he won and has vowed to reclaim his mandate at the tribunal.
On election day, Cole alleged that voters in certain areas of the state were intimidated by the ruling PDP.