Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike yesterday escaped death as unknown gunmen shot sporadically to disrupt the party’s campaign rally at Abua Central in Abua/Odual local government area of the state.
Wike, and other leaders of the PDP in the state, including his running mate, Dr (Mrs) Ipalibo Banigo, were not unhurt in the gun attack that lasted for more than 45 minutes, as they were still at the palace of the traditional ruler of Abua, King Kaleh Obunge, when the incident occurred.
Also in his entourage were the state PDP chairman, Chief Felix Obuah; the executive director, Finance and Administration, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Henry Ogiri; a member of the House of Representatives, Mrs Betty Apiafi, and the party’s candidate for Rivers West senatorial district, Hon. Osinakachukwu Ideozu.
However, when the sound of guns died down, supporters of the party who had earlier fled the venue of the campaign rally as a result of the sporadic shooting return, and the event commenced in earnest.
Speaking at the rally, Wike assured the people of Abua/Odual local government area that he would resolve the insecurity that has engulfed the area, saying that the party believes in non-violence and would not be intimidated by violence being perpetrated by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their associates.
He said, “We believe in non violence in our quest to take over governance of Rivers State. This level of violence will not be allowed to continue. The people of Rivers State have resolved to vote out this outgoing administration and all her associates. That they have resorted to violence indicates that they are aware that they have lost the election.”
In his speech, Ogiri who is also PDP leader in the state, said all leaders will work towards the peace of the area, adding that no amount of violence will intimidate the people of Abua/Odual local government area.
He said, “We will not be intimidated by any acts of violence. We are heading to victory. This is a PDP local government area. We are committed to peace building. There is a APC in Abua/Odual LGA. Our people have benefited from the PDP and they will vote PDP.”