Following the attack on the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, 6th January, 2015, by suspected Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) hoodlums while the victims were on their way to attend the Buhari Presidential Campaign flag-off in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Governor and Director-General of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has made an urgent appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to call on supporters and members of his party, not to unleash violence on APC supporters in Rivers State and across the country.
Amaechi spoke after leading APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and others on a sympathy visit to the victims of the attack numbering about nine at the Kelsey Harrison Hospital in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, 7th January, 2015.
The victims admitted at the Kelsey Harrison hospital were already being treated for wounds sustained from the attack by the suspected PDP thugs.
Amaechi said the President, apart from calling his men to order should also condemn the attack on the APC members by PDP hoodlums.
He said: “Imagine that the President goes to campaign in Katsina or in Kano and his convoy is attacked, imagine that, we will condemn it. In the same manner, we expect the President and the Peoples’ Democratic Party should condemn this violence that has been visited on us by their members and we expect that they should be able to control their members.
“The President can’t be promising us free, fair and violence-free elections, if he says violence-free election, and here we have already experienced violence, what is he expecting us to do? He asked.
Amaechi also called on President Jonathan as Commander-In-Chief to provide needed security for all Nigerians irrespective of which party they belong.
“I have continued to say that if the state is not able to provide security for individuals, individuals begin to provide security for themselves and I pray that people don’t begin to provide security for themselves. I pray that all of us should come out and support the state to provide security and the state must be ready to provide that security,” he said.
According to him, the PDP by this attacks on APC supporters has shown that it is not ready to ensure peaceful or violence-free polls.
“The fact that people are being attacked here and there is an indication that the PDP is not ready for a free, fair and violence-free elections”, he stated.
Meanwhile, Governor Amaechi said the state would provide free medical service for the victims of the attack and would extend financial support to their families during the time they would be in hospital for medical care.
Also speaking, Rivers State APC gubernatorial candidate, Dakuku Peterside expressed displeasure at the attack by PDP supporters.
He said the only way for Nigerians to trust President Goodluck Jonathan over his avowed desire for peaceful elections in the country is for the President to publicly condemn these attacks and ensure they don’t re-occur.
Peterside said: “This is an unfortunate trend. I don’t want to believe that violence will characterize the 2015 elections because that is not what any one of us desire. The President has said severally, whether he means it or not is a different matter, that his ambition is not worth the blood of anybody and we agree with him to that extent but again, it is one thing to share your philosophy, it is another thing to see your people go clearly against what you believe in and you are doing nothing about it. I am optimistic that the President and his team and members of his party, the PDP will come out strongly and condemn this act of violence visited on members of the APC in Rivers State”.
He said his party believes in peaceful polls and using peaceful means to realize political gains.
It was gathered that the APC supporters on their way to the Gen. Muhammadu Buhari presidential campaign flag-off in Port Harcourt were attacked at Elele, abetween Emohua and Sama Abalama in Kalabari Kingdom and between Kpoki and Kira in Ogoni land.