More Troubles in Rivers

amaechi 12

…APC Registration Gulps Billions of Naira

…Council Workers, Under-aged Forced To Register

…PDP Plans To Boycott LGA Polls

…As RSIEC Set To Release Election




In the past few days all is not well in Rivers State as the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) commences its membership registration exercise nationwide.

There are series of clashes across the state, in which some Local Government Areas (LGAs) witnessed killings, violence and destruction of properties.

In the Degema Local Government Area, a young man was brutally murdered at a registration unit, in Fouche community. Gunmen stormed the community and opened fire, which dispersed the supporters who came  to register. In the process a stray bullet hit the young man.

In the Akuku-Toru Local Government no fewer than thirty-eight (38) persons sustained serious injuries as the supporters of APC and PDP loyalists clashed.

Nobody knew the causes of the clash. During the fight dangerous weapons were used freely. The council chairman, Hon. Theodore Georgewill was also assaulted while the clash was going on. Dusk to dawn curfew was imposed at Abonnema, the headquarters of Akulga.

In the Abuloma axis of the Port Harcourt Local Government Area, those who came out to register with the opposition APC faced stiff opposition from people suspected to be the supporters of the ruling PDP.

Properties were destroyed and the hoodlums inflicted injuries on so many persons. Also in Obio/Akpor the story was not different as people were afraid to come out to register with the APC.

The Rivers State Government as we gathered had spent billions of naira in the exercise to entice people to support the vision of the Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi.

The money was used to mobilize people from their houses to the registration units.

Government agents and party faithful pay people N10, 000 each to go and get registered. In Ido community in Asari-Toru Local Government, ten cup of rice and a sachet of salt were used as baits to mobilize the people to register with the APC.

In Buguma, the headquarters of Asari-Toru council, wrappers were distributed to women to enable them to get registered. Also the council chairman, Mr. Ojukaye Flag Amachree provided free transportation from Port Harcourt to Buguma, as a way of enabling people going home to register.

Also in Asari-Toru, to meet up the expected number of membership some students from the various secondary schools in the area were gathered and offered them some money to entice them to get registered with the APC.

In Ahoada West and Ahoada East LGAs, our political correspondent who monitored the registration exercise reported that old men and women were giving cash, persuaded to be registered.

In Khana and Gokana LGAs where the turnout was so low, children under the age of eighteen (18) years were recruited to the registration  units to be registered. Due to the low turnout, the Rivers State Government on Monday directed all council workers to identify with the opposition APC by registering with the party.

The government agents which passed through the leadership of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), warned that any council staff who fails to register with the APC will be punished. Though the type of punishment that will be meted to any defaulter is not made known to them. But reliable source hinted this publication that the punishment will take in form of salary cut or delay in promotion. Political pundits and public administrators, however faulted the Government’s directive issued to the council workers. They pointed out that as civil servants, they are not supposed to involve in active politics.

In another development information reaching our political desk has it that, the Rivers State Independent Commission (RSIEC) has concluded plans to release the time table for the Local Government polls. A staff of the Commission, who pleaded for anonymity, told our political correspondent that the Local Government election time table is expected to be out by first week of the month of March, 2014. According to political analysts if the RSIEC is allowed to conduct the council election in this crisis period, the Rivers Electoral Commission will rig the election in favour of the opposition APC.

Of recent while addressing members of the Grassroot Development Initiative (GDI), Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Wike accused the State Government of planning to rig the council polls.

Meanwhile, knowledgeable source hinted this publication that the leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has stated that it might boycott the council polls if RSIEC is to conduct the LGA election March this year.

The fear expressed by the ruling party is that, RSIEC as a government parastatal might toe the vision of the Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and declare APC as winners at the end of the election. ###

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