- Ahead of the APC ward congress in Rivers state, irate youths vandalized the secretariat of the party in Port Harcourt
- One death was recorded as the police fired gun shots to scare the youths
- Chris Finebone, publicity secretary of APC in Rivers blamed some party leaders for the violence
One person died in Port Harcourt on Friday, May 4, as unidentified persons, suspected to be political thugs vandalised the secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) located at the Old Government Residential Area in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
The Rivers command of the Nigerian Police quickly intervened by deploying tear-gas to stop further destruction of the party’s secretariat. Gun shots were fired into the air to scare riotous members and in the process one death was recorded.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that APC members aspiring for various positions at the Ward levels had come to the party secretariat to pick their forms before the incident.
A ward chairmanship aspirant told NAN that he was unable to pick the form after paying the required amount through the bank. He said that trouble occurred after a long wait by the aspirants.
“As you can see, most of us that are vying for different positions in our wards are here to pick the form but nobody is here to address us. We were told that sales of forms will commence by 3 pm but up till 5:30pm we didn’t see anybody attending to us,” he alleged.
NAN learnt from witnesses that violence broke out following the long wait. The party’s secretariat was vandalised.
Efforts made to get reaction from the police did not yield result.
Chris Finebone, publicity secretary of APC in Rivers via a text message said that what happened at the secretariat was an act of wanton destruction that should be condemned by all.
“We regret that party leaders who have been canvassing for elections turned around to demand for consensus arrangement only to turn around to prevent the process of election through violence. We know them and time will prove them wrong,” Finebone alleged.
There are 319 wards across the 23 local government areas of the state.
The ruling party fixed Saturday, May 5, for the ward congress while it fixed the local government area (LGA) and state congresses for May 12 and May 19 respectively.
In Adamawa, over 10, 000 forms were said to have so far been issued to candidates for the Saturday ward congress in the state. Alhaji Ahmed Lawan, the state organizing Secretary of the party, made this known Friday, May 4, in Yola while briefing newsmen on the exercise.
NAIJ.com reported that Lawan said while women and physically challenged candidates were given the forms for free, others had to pay N10,000 for chairmanship and N2,000 for other positions.
Meanwhile, President Buhari on Friday, May 4, arrived his country home, Daura to participate in the party's ward congress at Sarkin Yara A ward slated for Saturday, May 5. Sarkin Yara A consists of 15 polling stations and 26 party executives.
The presidential jet conveying him touched down at Umaru Musa Ya’Adua Airport, Katsina state at exactly 4:28 pm and shortly after, President Buhari was conveyed in a police chopper to Daura.
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