On Monday morning, January 6, 2023, hoodlums invaded the APC campaign venue in Omuma LGA of Rivers state, destroyed the canopies and looted phones and generators, including the vehicle of Hon Onyekachi Ojiegbe, the Leader of APC in Omuma LGA.
A statement by Sogbeye C. Eli, Spokesman, Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council, narrated what happened.
“Early this Monday morning, a band of marauding thugs dressed in Police camouflage and riding in Hilux vans stormed the Umunachi community Rally ground for the All Progressives Congress Campaign in Omuma Local Government Area of Rivers State, pulling down canopies and vandalized vehicles parked at the venue.”
The statement added that eyewitness accounts report the few Policemen on the ground at the time of the attack as saying that they could not repel same since they were not only outnumbered but recognized some of the attackers as their colleagues who were attached to Government House, Port Harcourt.
Eli went on, “This attack, though unprovoked, was not without notice. Ahead of the planned visit to Omuma LGA by the Tonye Cole/Innocent Barikor governorship campaign train today, threats to attack and stop the gubernatorial candidate of the APC from campaigning in that LGA had been made by Hon Kelechi Nwogu, Member representing Omuma Constituency at the Rivers State House of Assembly and PDP candidate for the Etche/Omuma Federal Constituency at the February 25 elections, and the Omuma Council Chairman, Mr. Chisom Nwaiwu
“Consequent upon these threats, the Leader of the APC in Omuma LGA, Mr. Onyekachi Ojiegbe (alias Atiku), petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command to notify him of the impending attack. The Commissioner, it was gathered, minuted the petition to the OC Operations of the State Command who detailed the Police Area Commanders at Oyigbo and Bori to swing into necessary preemptive action”.
He regretted, “Unfortunately, even though three detachments of the Police were deployed to Omuma by the Oyigbo Area Commander, the dare-devil thugs invaded the rally venue at dawn just after the majority of the police contingent left to refresh themselves ahead of the arrival of the state campaign train.
It was reported that Mr. Ojiegbe duly cleared the Rally venue in the face of the deprivation imposed on opposition political parties in public school spaces for campaigns by the draconian, anti-democratic Executive Orders of the Nyesom Wike Administration.
We have restricted ourselves to providing alternative venues for our candidates to speak to Rivers people”.
He called on the security agencies operating in Rivers State to bring this primitive ambush on democracy to a definitive end.
“In particular, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Okon Effiong Okon, should immediately order Kelechi Nwogu and Chisom Nwaiwu to be arrested for commencing an investigation of their roles in this attack this morning.
”We hope that the Police Commissioner will not attend to this minimum demand with the same lethargy that previous attacks on our rallies in Port Harcourt, Oyigbo, and Opobo/Nkoro LGAs by these notorious elements were treated with that has given rise to the audacity and impunity for criminals to continue trampling on the fundamental rights of APC members to campaign in their State”, Eli demanded.
“We make this plea believing that our dear State cannot afford a resort to self-help by the APC and other opposition parties where the Police fail to act to protect the rights, lives, and properties of our members.”