Rivers PDP Alleges Plot by APC to Disrupt Elections

The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State has alleged that the All Progressives Congress, APC, is working with the army and the police to disrupt and rig the general elections scheduled for Saturday, February 23 and March 9.   
Addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council alleged that the army had already stationed armoured personnel carriers at homes of prominent leaders of the PDP and have laid siege to towns where PDP has large following.

Ferdinand Alabraba Photo
Ferdinand Alabraba

The Chairman of the Campaign Council, Ferdinand Alabraba, said “the army has forcibly occupied my property at Abonemma and brought in personnel to cause havoc and crisis in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area.”
He said the PDP only wanted to tell the world that whatever crisis that would emanate from Rivers State during the elections was orchestrated by the APC and the security agencies.

Desmond Akawor Photo
Desmond Akawor

Also speaking, the Director-General of the Campaign Council, Desmond Akawor, also alleged that there were plans by APC to use security agencies to arrest and detain leaders of the PDP days before the election.
But he said the PDP, however, would not act cowardly in the face of such provocation and intimidation, saying no one had the monopoly of violence “as we have the capacity and will to mobilise our teeming supporters to defend the collective rights of our people to participate in the democratic process.”
He recalled threats issued by some chieftains of the APC that there would not be any election in Rivers State if the APC was not put back on the ballot by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. 
A court in Port Harcourt had directed INEC to remove APC from the ballot after it annulled the primaries that produced the party’s candidates.
Akawor said it was regrettable that the security agencies have failed to respond to the threats of violence by the APC.
He said that last Friday, a day before the rescheduled presidential and national assembly elections, the security agencies deployed soldiers to Akuku Toru, Andoni, Asari Toru, Okrika, Bonny, Degema and Opobo Nkoro Local Government. “Indeed at Okrika Local Government, indigenes and residents were physically barred from returning home as early as 6pm. This is in spite of the fact that restriction of movement was to take place from 6am on Saturday.”
He added, “These actions by the APC, INEC and security agencies and the Federal Government clearly point to the undisputable conclusion that the plot by the APC to scuttle the general election in Rivers State is real and must be taken seriously and be prevented by all well-meaning Nigerians and the international community before it degenerates into major crisis,
“As a responsible party we are willing and desirous of ensuring that the general elections are peaceful and orderly. No political party has worked as hard as the PDP for the general election in the state. We are fully mobilised and ready to fire up with our teeming supporters for the general elections.”

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