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Rivers re-run: APC, PDP clash at peace meeting



The Rivers state chapter of  All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday February 18, 2016 clashed at a peace parley with service chiefs, Political parties and their candidates in the forth- coming National and State Assemblies rerun elections in the state.

The meeting was organized by members of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security and political parties and their candidates in the March 19, rerun polls.

In his opening remarks, the chairman of the meeting and Commissioner of Police (CP), in the state, Musa Kimo said, the meeting was meant to assure political parties and their candidates of the Agencies readiness to assist the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the state to conduct free and fair, violent-free exercise and to also appeal to parties and candidates to advise their members and supporters on the need to conduct themselves peacefully during the elections, adding that they (security operatives), will not fail to deal with according to the Law,   anybody caught violating the law and the electoral Act, irrespective of who.

Kimo’s speech was welcomed by all the participants. However remarks by the state Chairman of APC, Chief Davis Ibianmu Ikanya, which suggested that the killings in Omoku, the home town of the state chairman of the PDP, Brother Felix Obuah was masterminded by members of the ruling PDP turned the hitherto peaceful session into a theatre of commotion, as PDP members in the meeting reacted angrily as they insisted the APC retracts the statement before the meeting could move on.

More than 20 persons, including women and children have reportedly been killed in a fight which started in the area last Saturday. The PDP and APC have traded blames and counter blames on the matter. While the APC claims that the fight was politically motivated against it members and supporters ahead of the upcoming rerun, the PDP maintained that it was rival cult war, and that the APC is making false claim.

The APC sate Boss said 24 of his members and supporters have been killed in the mayhem and called on the police for proper investigation and possible arrest and detention of the culprits before the election dates.

He recalled that 95 APC members were killed across the state during the last general elections, and now over 24 of his members have been killed in Omoku alone, alleging that PDP members should be held responsible for the killings.

Reacting to the APC, Obuah called on the Police to invite Ikanya for questioning on the killings in Omoku, alleging that his statements suggests concluded plans to cause breakdown of Law and Order in the state.

“The APC chairman must be questioned for all the allegations he has made, by his statement, it is obvious that the APC has concluded plans to cause breakdown of law and order in the state.”

In his statement earlier, Kimo said, “…all the security agencies in the state have promised to be impartial in discharging our functions before, during and after the re-run elections.”

Also, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Aniede Ikoiwak, reiterated the use of Card Reader machine in the election, assuring that “a level playing ground” would be provided for all the candidates.