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Opposition concern at new Rivers commotion

20 January 2014, 08:46Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised concern at the political upheavals Rivers State where armed police-backed militants allegedly attacked a peaceful rally for the second successive weekend.

APC said “sympathizers” of President Goodluck Jonathan were pushing Nigeria to the precipice.

The party alleged that attackers invaded the venue of the rally in the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) in Bori, where the executives of the pan Rivers group in Khana Local Government Area of the state were to be inaugurated and attacked those in attendance and beat up some of the journalists who were invited to cover the event, damaging their vehicles and equipment in the process.

“Sunday's attack came a week after a similar one saw a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Magnus Abe, shot by policemen who also attacked and tear-gassed innocent women and children, among others. As the presidency-backed impunity in Rivers worsens, we at the APC are left with no choice than to alert all well-meaning Nigerians as well as the international Community to call President Jonathan to order, since he has refused to allow peace to reign in the state just because of his personal ambition,” APC Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated.

“ Because of the danger this state-backed thuggery can inflict on our young democracy; because of the harm being done to the polity by escalating political violence; and because of the fact that impunity does not breed peace, we will continue to cry out, hoping that reason will prevail and that President Jonathan will no longer allow his ambition to be watered by the blood of the same citizens he swore an oath to protect. It is clear that despite the presidency's loud silence on the Rivers crisis, it is the architect of the violence in the state, and the 2014 Ekiti and Osun governorship elections and the 2015 general elections are the reasons. That is why we will not relent in blaming the Presidency for the violence. Surely, when the Presidency is tired of violence, peace will return to Rivers state,” he added.

APC said the police carried its “partisanship to another level” when, the previous day it allegedly sent over 300 officers  to protect a pro-People’s Democratic Party rally that was used solely to launch a “blistering verbal assault” on the APC and Governor Chibuike Amaechi.

– CAJ News


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