Rivers state under military-police siege, Amaechi tells UN envoy

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Ahead of the March 28 General elections, Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has told the United Nations envoy to West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas is virtually under police-military siege, with 400 members of his party in detention and members facing all sorts of intimidation.

Amaechi spoke in Port Harcourt Wednesday when the UN envoy and other UN diplomats paid him a visit.

Governor Rotimi Amaechi: reports Jonathan and wife to UN diplomats

Amaechi accused President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience of inciting violence in the state. He said Patience Jonathan has virtually taken control of the police in the state.

“Members of APC have been crying out loud to the country and the world. In Rivers State, the wife of the President, who is from Rivers State has taken over the control of the Police Force. On Tuesday night, the Commissioner of Police attempted to arrest a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the reason for doing that is to ensure that APC members don’t come out on election day. And as I speak to you now, the lawmaker has moved into Government House for protection. More so, we have over 400 APC members in Police detention. The other day, I asked the Police Commissioner and he told me that those arrested were criminals and why should I ask him to release them. Do we only have criminals in APC?”, Amaechi queried.

“What about the period when the APC gubernatorial candidate Dr. Dakuku Peterside led members of the Party to a rally in Okrika. The APC campaign train was shot at, by hoodlums and PDP members. Now, ask the Commissioner of Police if he carried out any arrest? In that attack it was observed that the PDP killed a Policeman and injured several APC members. The Commissioner of Police is totally helpless”, Amaechi explained.

“In the same vein, on Tuesday, PDP hoodlums went to the House of the Commissioner of Power, Hon. Augustine Nwokocha with Military Uniforms and killed his relations, injured others and further burnt down the house of his Personal Assistant. All these attacks and impunity can measure that the elections can be free, but, may not be fair”.

Amaechi said that APC is not running election against PDP all over the state, but against the Military and the police.

He informed the diplomats that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah who is from Rivers State has deployed Special Military to Opobo/Nkoro local government area where he comes from, and incidentally, the APC governorship candidate, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside comes from Opobo. So, you virtually expect resistance and nobody is concerned about the plight of APC.

He said APC may go back to the International Criminal Court (ICC) where the United Nations will witness how President Jonathan and the PDP are using the Police and the Military to trigger violence”, Amaechi said.

Governor Amaechi also condemned and described as totally unacceptable and unconstitutional the conspiracy between President Jonathan and the PDP against the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal Judgments restricting President Jonathan from deploying the Military in the March 28th and April 11, 2015 general elections.

According to him, there are three Judgments passed so far by the Federal High Court in Sokoto, the Federal High Court in Lagos and the Court of Appeal in Lagos restricting the President from deploying soldiers for the general elections. Besides the judgements,he pointed out that the constitution of Nigeria says, the President can’t deploy soldiers for elections.

“It is important that you put these incidents on record. I don’t know why the battle is here, and may be the battle is here in Rivers State because in the past PDP used to score two million votes. And now it appears it will no longer be the same as usual.

Amaechi regretted that the Abuja peace accord signed by President Jonathan and APC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari is not being adhered to by President Jonathan and the PDP.

“I will urge the United Nations to call President Jonathan to order. I think it is important that you take this report to the United Nations Secretary-General to ask President Jonathan to respect the peace accord,” he added.

Chambas said the delegation was in Nigeria to sensitize and advise Political Parties and candidates for the election to ensure a level playing ground.

“We are focusing on the elections because of the concern of the international community. The focus globally is on Nigeria, especially on the elections. The Presidential Candidates, President Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari have signed a peace accord ahead of the elections and they should allow INEC conduct free and fair elections.