Obiajunwo Paul, Port Harcourt
The Governorship Candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside has assured the delegation of National Human Right Commission (NHRC) that arms bearing and retaliation against their attackers is not an option but to believe on the institutions of the state.
He said many of his supporters have been sent to early grave, adding that in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local government area alone, more than 30 persons have been killed due to political violence in the area.
Dr. Peterside stated this yesterday in his Greater Together Governorship campaign office in Port Harcourt when the chairman of National Human Right Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu and his team visited his office.
Briefing the commission on the human right abuses on his supporters, Peterside said his fear is that continue political violence in the state may truncate the democratic process.
He said in spite of intimidation, humiliation, robbery, kidnapping, killing, he still have absolute confidence in the institution that has been set up for the purpose of human right abuse.
He note that the last thing he will think at this period when his supporters are been killed on daily basis is reprisal attack or any other option that could abridge the democratic process.
“Let me on behalf of my party, All Progressive Congress, particularly the Greater Together Campaign organization welcome you to Rivers State. I am sure that just before coming to Rivers State you must have had miss feelings reading from papers or electronic media of our stories of political violence.
“In the last few weeks most of you would have read about Rivers State with the political violence, kidnapping, robbery, killing and one conflict or the other. It appears that the negative stories have dropped our accomplishment and the success we have recorded.
“In Ogba/Ebema/Ndoni, we lost 30 persons to political violence, in Okrika Local government we were not allowed to campaign and similar scenario is playing out in Ogu/Bolo. I was told though unconfirmed that some chiefs in Okrika issued an order banning us from coming to campaign in the area.”
Responding, the Chairman, National Human Right Commission Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, who spoke on behalf of his team, said they are in Port Harcourt to get the first-hand knowledge of political violence that has rock the state in the last few weeks.
He said it is unfortunate that those killed and those whose properties have been damaged are citizens of this state, adding that politicians can only govern when society is stable.
“I went to offer condolence to the people of Rivers State because a lot of blood has been shad in one the political violence or the other. It doesn’t matter what sort of the political divides but at the end of the day those killed are our brother and sister.
“Now in the latest incident in Okrika we had men and women in uniforms killed, it is unacceptable that man and women in uniforms should be killed in this circumstance. We are going to visit PDP campaign office, Rivers State police command and INEC to ensure the end of incessant attack in the state.”