Political violence escalates in Rivers as APC, SDP governorship rallies attacked

As different political parties intensify their campaigns for the Match 25 and February 11 and March 25, 2023 elections in Rivers State, politically motivated violence and attacks are escalating with several politicians and political parties daily coming under attacks.

Barely 24 hours after the burning of the country home of APC National Assembly candidate for Ikwerre/Emuoha Federal Constituency, Ezemonye Ezekiel-Amadi, in Omerelu, Rivers State, the campaign trains of the Social Democratic Party SDP Governorship candidate, Senator Magnus Abe and that of All Progressives Congress APC’s Tonye Cole were on Monday attacked at different parts of Rivers State.

While Senator Abe, was reported to escape assassination when unknown gunmen attacked his train at Akinima community in Ahoada-West local government area of the state Cole’s own train was attacked at Oyigbo, in Oyigbo Local Government Area.

Abe and his team had earlier visited Ubeta and other communities in the area before heading to Akinima, which is the headquarters of the local government area, when they came under heavy gun attack.

A short video from his media team showed members of the campaign train running helter-skelter scampering for safety in the ensuing chaos.

The APC train was reported to have been prevented by an alleged order from above to use a space they had prepare and obtained permission for use of their rally. After the ensuing arguments and associated pandamonium the APC people took their rally to a portion of the express way to address their supporters.

Speaking on the attack on his train at Akinima, Abe said: “We went there and they went and used two vehicles to block the road so that we cannot get there.

“Nigeria is a democracy and all of us have the right to go to the people and share our ideas with them. If you have ruled the people for seven years, the people should be happy with you.

“If people are not happy with you it is because you are not doing well. Now, you are sending people’s children to come and block other politicians from talking to the people.”

The SDP governorship candidate, however, did not specifically mention those he was referring to as the culprits.

Also reacting to his own experience, Cole stated that no amount of intimidation would stop him and the APC from taking their message of hope to the people.

He expressed confidence on the chances of the APC winning the election in the state saying that that was the motivation for the party to continue to campaign across the state against all odds.

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