Thursday, November 17, 2016

APC, PDP Protests In Port Harcourt Turn Violent

Posted By: young kizzye - 11:21:00 PM


& Comment

pdated November 17, 2016
APC, PDP, Plateau Politics, Deputy SpeakerIt’s been a day of protests in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital where the supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stormed the streets to express their grievances over different matters.

While the APC is aggrieved that two of their elected members in the state House of Assembly are yet to be sworn in, the supporters of the PDP claim they were out to register their support for the leadership of the House and the government of Rivers State.
The APC members who came out in their numbers caused a traffic jam along Azikiwe road in the Rivers state capital.
The leader of the protest and secretary of the party in the state Emeka Bekee lamented what he described as a deliberate attempt of the government to frustrate the process.

The APC members stormed the streets in their numbers
“This morning, immediately he (Rivers State Governor) got wind of this protest he set up a visit to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. He never visited the Speaker since, it’s now he decided to visit the speaker.
“That is to tell you the Governor knows what he is doing and we the APC will not take it anymore. We have given Nigerians the opportunity to hear our cry. There are members of the PDP in the National Assembly, the APC-led leadership did not refuse to swear them in, why is it that the Governor and the PDP have refused to swear our people in?

 Emeka Bekee
Leader of the APC Protest, Emeka Bekee
“After today, APC will not take it anymore, whatever will happen in this state should happen.”
Their walk to the state assembly complex was however halted by the Police perhaps to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
APC candidate in Ogu Bolo constituency in the legislative rerun, Maureen Tamuno said that they decided to back off for now from the protest for the sake of peace
“We decided to retreat from the protest. And we are calling on the Governor of Rivers state to allow the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly to swear in our honourable members. We are calling on them to respect the rule of law, this is not a military regime.
“We are aware that you also know that there are five members who won the election on the platform of the PDP, the President did not stop Dogara from swearing them in, and they are representing their constituencies in the federal house.”
While the APC protest was going on, the situation with supporters of the PDP appeared tenser.
In an open confrontation, the Police engaged the protesters in an attempt to stop them from proceeding.

One person was shot in the leg
This led to the use of tear gas and live ammunition. One person was shot in the leg.
Channels Television’s camera man was also attacked during the chaos and has been receiving treatment in a hospital in Port Harcourt.
He was reportedly hit with a gun by the Police.
‘You Are One Of Us’
The protesters later broke through Police resistance to the House of Assembly complex but were resisted by more determined security operatives.
The Publicity Secretary of the PDP and leader of the protest, in his address said his people were determined to show their solidarity for the Speaker and Rivers state government.
“We the youths of Rivers state are determined to embark on this victory march to show that we are happy with the leadership of the assembly, that we are excited with your leadership as the Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly because you are one of us.

Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima,
Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima
“This is the first time in the history of the House that we have a Speaker that is one of us. You will remember two years ago when the pharaoh of the state who is no more here came and closed down the assembly and took it to government house.
“We are also happy with our leader the Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, who promised that from day one he will take the Assembly from government house back to the legislative house where Rivers people voted them to do their legislative duties.”
In his address, the Speaker, Adams Dabotorudima, thanked the crowd for displaying maturity and refusing to fight back when the Police attacked them.
“I want to thank you for showing maturity in the face of provocation, I thank you that you did not take laws into your hands otherwise we have what it takes to match them fire for fire, hand for hand.
“But next time, let the CP take this message to those who sent them that next time anybody who will come to Rivers state to try and cause trouble, we believe the law will take its cause. The primary responsibility of any government is to protect lives and property and we are happy that lives and property are being protected in the state, unlike before when people were being killed on the streets under the previous administration.
“We are making good laws and we will continue to make good laws that will impact on the lives of our people.”
Brutalized By Police

Channels TV cameraman, Ekikere Udom
Channels Television’s cameraman Ekikere Udom who spoke from his hospital bed recounted how he was brutalized by the Police.
“I was doing my work when a group of policemen came around me and asked me to stop recording and started beating me up. I tried to show them my ID card, but they continued.
“After the beating, while I was trying to recover myself, another officer came and hit me on my rib with the tip of the gun and I fell. They hit my camera and seized it and my bag. I had to manage my way out of there.”
Police React
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Francis Odesanya, has reacted to the circumstances surrounding the protests of the APC and the PDP.
According to him, when he received credible information that the PDP was to visit the Speaker of the State House of Assembly same day that the APC had obtained official permission to take a protest letter to the same speaker, he had advised party leaders to shelve plans to a later date but his advice was not heeded.
The CP said that those responsible for the attack on the Channels Television cameraman would be fished out.

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