Rivers Governorship Battle:Nyesom Wike's Supporters Unleash Terror On Opponents In Abuja

The governorship ambition of the Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, in Rivers State, under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday, caused a total breakdown of law and order at the party’s presidential campaign office, Legacy House, in Abuja.
Suspected thugs loyal to Wike reportedly unleashed terror on party members and others, including journalists, who had converged on the venue for a South-South reconciliation meeting.
The zonal integration committee, headed by Senator Ilya Abubakar, had scheduled to meet at the venue to reconcile aggrieved members, before the thugs swooped on them and later headed to the Wadata Plaza, national secretariat of the party.
According to an eyewitness, the crisis degenerated into a free-for-all, when the supporters of the minister sighted him coming out from the conference room, where the committee was sitting, while they give perceived opponent a shouting match.
It was gathered that the thugs, who came in their hundreds, started arriving at the venue as early as 8.00 a.m. and took over control of security at the Legacy House, while scores of policemen assigned to provide security at the venue watched helplessly.
The thugs freely harassed anyone who made attempt to enter the main building where the committee was sitting and locked up those perceived as opposition within the building
Journalists were not spared, as some of them were beaten up, with some of their equipment seized.
While the show of shame was ongoing, the aggrieved Ijaw youths, who were protesting what they called planned imposition of Ikwere indigene on the people of the state, relocated to the national secretariat of the party at Wadata Plaza, armed with various placards.
Speaking on behalf of the youth, Mr Oni Quakers from Kalabariland said they were protesting the imposition of Ikwere indigenes on the people as the next governor of the state.
Reacting, the national publicity secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, while addressing the faction of the aggrieved members, reassured them that the party leadership would not allow the imposition of candidates on members in any state of the federation.
Chief Metuh maintained that the party members would be given the opportunity to elect and nominate aspirants of their choice, who would eventually become the party’s candidates for elections in 2015.
According to him, “we are promising you that is what will happen in Rivers and every single state of the federation. Our party is against consensus candidate.”
While urging the protesters to remain calm, Metuh maintained that the party would continue to uphold true democratic tenets and principles in its nomination processes.
The party, also in a statement released in Abuja by its national secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, warned that it would not hesitate to sanction erring elected party officials at all levels.
“The sanctity of our nomination processes must be protected at all times. We, therefore, wish to assure all party members that there shall be a level playing ground for all aspirants intending to participate in the nomination processes.
“Consequently, the National Working Committee (NWC) will not hesitate to protect any of our members who in any way stands to be shortchanged, cheated or victimised by such endorsements.
“The NWC charges all our members and supporters, therefore, to disregard all such endorsements, as the PDP will conduct primaries to duly elect our standard-bearers, in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the constitution of our great party,” the statement read.
Minister denies allegation
Minister of State for Education, Wike, in a brief telephone interview after the incident, denied sponsoring thugs to disrupt the proceedings, even as he also denied beating up anybody.
According to Wike, “nobody attacked anybody. The meeting was peaceful. Everybody who had something to present were allowed to make his presentation. How could I have prevented them from presenting their memoranda? They said I beat somebody. How can I do that?”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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