The All Progressives Congress (APC) has sounded an alarm over what it described as the “seemingly-targeted killing of its members and supporters in Rivers as this month’s general elections draw nearer.” The opposition party also wondered if those who are bent on suppressing the opposition at all costs have finally unleashed their killer snipers.
Speaking through a statement issued on Wednesday in Lagos and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the killing of nine APC members in two separate incidents in Rivers on Saturday night raises a very serious concern about the motive of the killings.
It said the fact that all those killed, including five at the D-Line of Port Harcourt and four along the Eastern By-Pass in the Marine Base near the state capital, were members of the APC is a clear indication that the killings may have been politically-motivated.
Also worrisome, APC said, is the freaky attack on Chidi Adi Amaechi, the younger brother of Rivers Governor Rotimi Amaechi and a student of Igbinedion University in Benin, by machete-wielding young men who stormed his room in the early hours of Wednesday (March 11th, 2015) and inflicted injuries on his head and arms. Chidi is currently being treated at an undisclosed hospital.
”It is difficult to see these attacks as a mere happenstance, against the backdrop of the ceaseless attacks on APC members and supporters in the Okrika council area of the state, where the opposition has been the victim of at least three bomb attacks, and the hate messages being purveyed by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who hails from Okrika.
”We know that because they have no answer to the runaway popularity of our party in the state, they are ready to do anything possible to prevent free, fair and peaceful elections there on March 28th and April 11th. By targeting opposition members and supporters, as well as their families, the anarchists will be hoping to trigger chaos and truncate the elections in the state. This is their plan, hence we are calling on the security agencies to act fast to fish out the killers in Rivers before they decimate the ranks of the opposition and scuttle the elections,” the party said.
It said the mindless killings in Rivers are placed in the context of the accusation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, that the Jonathan Administration was training snipers secretly while 1,000 Nigerians have been placed on a watch-list, it will be logical to conclude that the increasingly-fascist Jonathan Administration may have finally unleashed the snipers on the opposition.
APC called on Nigerians in general and the civil society in particular to keep a tab on the killings of opposition members and supporters in the run-up to the forthcoming polls, with a view to exerting pressure on those whose duty it is to bring the killers to justice.
The party said, however, that President Goodluck Jonathan bears the ultimate responsibility for the cold-blooded murder of the APC members and supporters, especially because of his constitutional role of ensuring the security and welfare of the citizens, as well as his direct involvement – and that of his wife – in the political crisis in Rivers
”A President who has said, severally, that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian must not keep quiet when innocent opposition members are being bombed, shot at or hacked anywhere in the country, and more particularly in a state where he has inserted himself in a needless political crisis,” it said.
APC further appealed to its members and supporters in Rivers to remain calm but vigilant, saying they must never retaliate the killing of their colleagues in kind in order not to play into the hands of the anarchists.