Friday, March 20, 2015 6:14 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
At least two chieftains of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Rivers State, were today shot by unidentified gunmen at Eleparawon, Obio-Akpor local Government area,the home council of Nyesom Wike, PDP governorship candidate.
Many others were injured and the rally disrupted.
It is was gathered that the APC ward chairman,Mr Tasie Wike, was among those injured and rushed to hospital.
Confirming the incident Solomon Ikeguru,the APC chairman in Obio-Akpor said that Dakuku Peterside, the APC Governorship candidate was supposed to be in the area in continuation of Ward-to-Ward campaign at Eleparawon when suddenly they saw gunmen shooting sporadically.
They also saw machete wielding men, suspected to be PDP party thugs advancing menacingly towards APC members.
APC members reportedly fled.
On the number of those injured, Ikeguru said: “We cannot ascertain because when the gunmen started shooting sporadically and they were advancing we started running to different directions. There was pandemonium.”
Ahmad Muhammad PPRO to the Rivers Police command could not comment on the incident.
Today’s shooting incident happened less than 24 hours after thousands of APC members and their Caretaker Committee chairmen from the 23 local government staged peaceful protest to the Police headquarters and Department of Security of State Security to draw attention to their insecurity.
Meanwhile, the Dr.Sampson Parker,the Commissioner for Health has raised alarm at the rising number of patients with gunshot and machete wounds being reported at the various government hospitals in the state.
He said the wounded were victims of politically motivated attacks.
Parker said that available records show that cases of patients with gunshot wounds, and other related injuries were on the rise at Kelsey Harrison and Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, all in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
He stated that at the local government areas, there were also reports of similar cases, but did not disclose the figures.
“There is an epidemic of political violence going on in Rivers State. At the Ministry of Health, my colleagues and I toil daily to ensure that we provide services, given available resources, in health care delivery.
“We have built some of the best health centres, hospitals and other medical institutions. However, daily, our people are confronted with danger as they go about their normal and lawful businesses.”
He disclosed that statistics from Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH) and Kelsey Harrison Hospital from January to 12 March 2015 show that cases of gunshot injuries were 41 while those from assaults, including machete injuries were 26.
Parker stated that these facts do not include the figures for deaths arising from this new epidemic, adding that the reason is that the dead were not brought to the hospitals.