Abuja - The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday in Abuja pledged to address all issues of human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by the Rivers government.
The APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, made the pledge when all 23 local government chairmen in Rivers paid a courtesy visit to the party’s national secretariat.
The chairmen were at the secretariat to report purported cases of human rights violations, unpaid salaries and monthly allocations to the state and intimidation to their persons by Gov. Nyesom Wike.
Odigie-Oyegun assured the grassroots leaders that APC followed due process, adding that the party would not "allow the blood of the innocent to be shed for political reasons.
"I want to give you the assurance that yes, things have changed in this nation, and those who are still testing our resolve will discover sooner than later that they are absolutely on the wrong track.
"The fact that we are a party of law, a party of order, a party of due process does not mean we will allow impunity to continue.
"We will not allow the blood of innocent to be shed on the platform of politics or for political reasons.
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If the PDP in Rivers does not recognise that change has in fact come to this nation, then they will be doing so at their own peril because there certainly will be consequences.
"We cannot allow our members, innocent citizens to be witch-hunted, to be slain, to be abused the way they are used to and the way it has been happening,’’ he said.
He said that the friction in the state could be attributed to the fact that APC won all local government seats in PDP-controlled Rivers.
According to him, the party is aware of the "high price’’ paid by executives of its state chapter to what they had accomplished.
The chairman promised to liaise with the legal adviser of the party to ensure justice.
"We are very much aware of the way things are run.... but I urge you to be strong because the day of reckoning is certain.
"We will certainly call for all those who have acted against the laws of this nation and who have brought injury and harm to innocent citizens of this country.
"This is not the kind of regime that allows or tolerates impunity.
"I want you all to be courageous, strong, law-abiding, knowing that you can see the light definitely at the end of the tunnel.
"It is immediate that we do something about those who are tormenting innocent persons.
He said that APC would not ask for favours from law enforcement agencies, "given the kind of leadership we have of President Buhari."
"We are going to just ask them to abide by the constitution of the nation and discharge their duties with equity to all and with bias toward none,’’ he said.
Mr Chimbiko Akarolo, the Chairman of Port Harcourt Local Government Area, who led the delegation, told Odigie-Oyegun that the allocation meant for the local government councils had been seized since the present administration assumed office.
"We want to let you know that as soon as we got into office, the minority party informed us that as soon as they get into office at the state level, we'll be dissolved.
"We took the right step, we went to court and we got an injunction dissuading them from doing that.
As as soon as we did that, the state government went on air directing all financial institutions not to deal with us.
"We can't take laon, we cannot function, and we can't take facilities. As I speak, our allocation has been seized, workers have not been paid, we have not been paid,’’ he said.
He pleaded with the party to "use every means necessary to sustain the local governments in Rivers’’ by informing every instrument of government to compel the state government to release allocations owed them.
Akarolo said that there was need to improve the security situation of the local government chairmen, adding that they had no security details since they took over.
The chairmen present at the visit include Ahoada East, Bokana, Bonny, Ikwerre, Ogbia/Andoni and Port-Harcourt local government, among others.