…Police fire teargas gunshots
Accuse INEC of playing to Governor Wike script
Our hands are tied,INEC headquarters has not directed-INEC Official
Residents Electoral Commissioner stopped from entering office
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Police in Rivers State on Thursday forcefully dispersed protesting candidates and members of a faction of All Progressives Congress, APC who barricaded the head office of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, in Port Harcourt.
The protesters accused the electoral body of conniving with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to deny its candidates participation in the forthcoming general election.
Gunshots and tear gas cannisters were fired into the air after Obo Effanga, the Resident INEC Commissioner who arrived after the protest had started was prevented from entering his office by the protesters.
The APC supporters were compelled to scamper for safety following the gunshots.
Effanga had earlier in a address to the protesters, explained that INEC was created by law and was bound to obey the court order directing exclusion of APC candidates from the ballot for the gubernatorial, State and National Assembly positions.
Nevertheless, Obong promised to communicate the demand of the protesters to INEC head office in Abuja.
The peaceful protest led by Oji Ngofa, Ambassador of Nigeria to Netherlands, who is the APC Senatorial candidate for Rivers South East who spoke on behalf of members at the INEC office.
They accused INEC of receiving service on the stay of execution order by the Court of Appeal on the judgment of Justice Kolawole Omotosho of a Federal High Court, but wondered why INEC had refused to comply with the order.
He expressed shock that INEC which was quick to de-list APC candidates on the strength of the High Court order, in obedience to the Appeal Court order, saying it was a clear sign of connivance with the PDP to deny them justice.
He wondered why Governor Nyesom Wike and PDP were afraid of the opposition party, alleging that the governor has bribed all the institutions in the state to pave way for him to ride freely to an undeserved re-election, but vowed that the APC would resist him and his members.