PHALGA 3 Bye-Election: PDP Demands Arrest Of Factional APC Chairman …As Wike Dismisses Flag-Amachree’s ‘N200m Bribe’ Claim

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki (right), with the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, during the Eid-el-Kabir prayers in Ilorin, yesterday.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has called on the police high command to immediately arrest and prosecute the factional state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Hon Ojukaye Flag-Amachree following the APC’s admission that its factional state chairman was physically present in Port Harcourt State Constituency 3, during the suspended last Saturday’s Port Harcourt State Constituency 3 bye-election.
The party said that Flag-Amachree’s prosecution has become imperative “to avoid further breach of the peace and public order in Rivers State, which is imminent should he be allowed to be freely going about, causing more trouble unchecked.”
In a statement in Port Harcourt, the state PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah said that “The APC had since after the election which was cancelled midway into the exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), denied that Ojukaye Flag-Amachree was anywhere near the State capital on that election day.
“But in a stupendous self-contradiction, the APC in its official Twitter handle, @realAPCRivers, unwittingly claimed that Ojukaye Flag-Amachree was raised in Diobu which happens to be the nucleus of Port Harcourt 3 State Constituency and could not possibly be exempted from being in his neighbourhood, on that day of the bye-election.”
According to Obuah, “This corroborates the allegation replete in public domain and strongly upheld by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, with his team of thugs aided by men and officers of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) stormed various voting units, terrorising, coercing, driving away PDP supporters and agents, and snatching electoral materials from the electoral officers as a way of achieving electoral victory that fateful Saturday.
“Rather than acknowledge the obvious breach of the electoral law and accept the responsibility of the embarrassment suffered by the public, the APC denied the unwholesome show of shame and instead, has been trying to heap the blame on INEC and the PDP.
“The PDP believes that more facts as regards the aborted Saturday’s election will unfold in the coming days about the grand plot of the APC to wreck more havoc on Rivers people unless the party is allowed to have its way.
“The PDP is also surprised that Flag-Amachree, who is presently wanted by a court of competent jurisdiction over a murder case and consequent contempt of court is freely going about with security operatives turning a blind eye and even guarding him.
“The PDP is, however, excited that at last, the APC has admitted that its factional chairman, Flag-Amachree, who had earlier claimed he was in Degema, his state constituency last Saturday, was truly in Port Harcourt which has vindicated its (PDP) position that Flag-Amachree personally led the army of thugs and touts that disrupted the Port Harcourt State Constituency 3, House of Assembly bye-election same Saturday, August 18, 2018,” the PDP added.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has dismissed claims by the factional Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon Ojukaye Flag-Amachree that he allegedly offered him N200million bribe to compromise last Saturday’s bye-election for Port Harcourt State Constituency 3.
It would be recalled that Flag-Amachree had alleged that the governor wanted his cooperation during last Saturday’s by-election for Port Harcourt Constituency 3 so the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) candidate, Chiemeka Merukini, could win.
Wike, who spoke through the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Barrister Emma Okah, described Flag-Amachree as a liar.
The governor said: “He should stop his cheap lies, meant to divert attention from the atrocities he committed during last Saturday’s bye-election in Port Harcourt Constituency 3. No matter how long he tries to run, the atrocities will continue to haunt him. Nobody offered him N200million bribe.
“Port Harcourt Constituency 3 is a stronghold of the PDP. Even if a goat is fielded as PDP’s candidate in the area, the goat will still win for the PDP.”
Flag-Amachree, who was a former chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government, had claimed that “as a loyal member of APC, he declined Wike’s bribe and promptly reported to the leadership of his party, while working for the success of APC’s candidate, Dickens Worlu.”
In a reaction, the state police command denied involvement in the disruption of Saturday’s by-election.
The state Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, at a news briefing in Port Harcourt, denied the allegation, insisting the “police did not at anytime collude with any political party to discredit the political process as alleged in some quarters. Information at the command’s disposal, revealed the presence of political thugs at Miles II and III who were reportedly armed and were disrupting the voting process.
‘’The police in the wake of this information deployed more Personnel and Armoured Personnel Carriers to safeguard the election process, lives and property which was done most professionally.
“The INEC officials, who appeared to have been intimidated by the thugs were reassured by our presence. Accordingly, our counter measures against the thugs and the thuggery they exhibited, calmed the situation and the INEC officials left with some of the election materials and subsequently suspected the entire process.
“It must be emphasised that the timely action of the police in checkmating political thugs prevented the loss of lives and destruction of properties”, Zaki said.
Similarly, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has decried the use of security forces, including special police and military units, by the Federal Government during the last bye-election in Rivers State.
The main opposition party said the security agencies were used to subjugate Nigerians and provide cover for thugs deployed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to unleash violence, disrupt polling processes and foist fake results after the poll.
A statement, last Monday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said such brazen assault on the will of the people was completely provocative and incendiary.
The party added that such tendencies have unlimited capacity to elicit violent resistance from the people and derail the country’s hard-earned democracy, especially as the 2019 elections draw nigh.
The statement said, “We invite Nigerians to note that the use of security agencies by the APC to aid the subjugation of the people has become a regular practice as amply witnessed in the July 14, 2018 Ekiti governorship election, the 2016 Edo State governorship election, the bye-elections in Kogi, Bauchi, Katsina and Cross River and most recently, the River State Assembly bye-election, where special police units were used to manhandle voters, while providing cover for APC thugs to attack voters, snatch ballot boxes and disrupt the election.
“The APC, in its desperation, is resorting to this underhand means, because it knows that there is no way it can win in any peaceful and transparently conducted election in any part of the country, due to the public indignation against its dismal performance in the last three years.
“Our worry as a party, however, is that Nigerians are daily pushed to the wall and there is a limit to what they can endure, without resorting to violent resistance, particularly in the face of unrelenting subversion of their will and freedom to select leaders or representatives of their choice.
“The APC and its agents in the police and other security agencies should therefore bear in mind that they are on collision course with the people. Their eventual resistance, if such subversion continues, could come with very dire consequences.
“The PDP is aware that this resort to violence by the APC is to test-run its plans to rig the 2019 general elections and we ask, what shall it profit a man to gain political power and set his nation ablaze?
“The PDP cautions all those being used by the APC to know that history will never forgive them for these atrocities. They will forever be remembered for their ignoble past and have their places in the hall of shame”, the statement added.