For the second time in
three weeks, the governorship campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scheduled for yesterday at Okrika, in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, did not hold after all.
The APC blamed lack of security clearance by the Police for its inability to hold the rally in Okrika as scheduled.
It will be recalled that an earlier rally scheduled to take place at the Okrika National School field on January 24, 2015, was aborted following the overnight bombing of the venue and destruction of canopies and musical equipment, among others by unknown gunmen.
The attack, which occurred around 3.45am on January 24, was allegedly executed by some political thugs suspected to be members of the opposition party in the state.
The Tide learnt that the hoodlums who stormed the venue in a Hiase bus shot sporadically to scare away those who were still around the area before detonating an explosive suspected to be dynamite.
Shortly after the incident, security operatives were said to have advised the APC not to go ahead with the rally as planned but to reschedule it for such a safer and more secure date as may be agreed upon later.
But the Director of the APC Governorship Campaign Organization in Okrika Local Government Area of the State, Mr Tamuno Williams at a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Wednesday said the rally may not hold as scheduled because the State Police Command could not guarantee the safety of supporters of the APC in any rally in Okrika and Ogu/Bolo Local Government Areas.
Mr Williams told journalists that the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Dan Bature, at a meeting with leaders of the party at the police headquarters, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt, said the police would not be able to provide security for the party’s governorship campaign rally in Okrika.
He recounted that the APC had been target of violence at Okrika and that the police had failed to protect the people because of the insistence of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan that the party should not be allowed to hold its rally in Okrika.
Williams accused the police of being partisan in handling issues concerning APC in Okrika because of the influence of the First Lady.
The APC called on President Goodluck Jonathan who the party addressed as “our in-law” to call his wife to order and to direct the security agencies to protect the constitutional rights of every citizen of the country, saying “posterity is watching all Nigerians”.
Okrika is the hometown of the First Lady, Mrs Jonathan and ex-militants leader, Ateke Tom who is a strong supporter of the First Lady.