Political tension seems to escalate in Rivers as supporters of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have threatened to resort to self-help if the Nigerian Police and other security agencies fail to protect them from further attacks in Rivers State.
Recall that suspected thugs numbering over 200, had last Thursday attacked the Port Harcourt residence of the Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the State, Senator Lee Maeba, injuring his older brother and damaging four of his vehicles.
Briefing journalists in Port Harcourt shortly after a meeting with the local government coordinators of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, a former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, appealed to security agencies to live up to their promise.
Sekibo, who is also the Director of the Campaign Council in the State, said it is the duty of the government to protect lives and property of the citizens.
He said: “In the light of what happened in the house of the Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, we called an emergency meeting of all coordinators of Campaign Council in all the 23 local government areas.
“We have just risen from that meeting and the meeting held here in Obio/Akpor local government area in the residence of the Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council. One of the things we discussed was the attack on this property and destruction of vehicles and injuries to some persons.
“First, we assured our people that they have a duty to report to law enforcement agencies if any untoward thing happen around them as they host these meetings in their various local government areas, in their various wards and in their various units.
“We are calling on security agencies to do that which they have promised to do. The NSA, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-general of DSS, the NIA; we have asked that they should ensure that we are not forced to resort to self-help in this state.
“All serious politicians in this State have people who believe in them, who follow them. If the police and law enforcement agencies don’t do that which is needful, we will be forced to seek self-help but we cannot standby and watch people to come and destroy both lives and property. That is the work of government, government is supposed to protect lives and property.
“When council chairmen are being weaponised in this state and are being asked to ensure that political meetings don’t hold in their local government areas, that will not augur well for our democracy.”
Also, speaking with journalists, Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the State, Senator Lee Maeba, berated the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, for claiming that the attack on his residence was stage-managed.
Maeba said: “I am the one who was attacked yesterday (Thursday) and to my surprise, the Commissioner for Information has gone on air to say it was a melo-drama orchestrated here.
“This is a man who is not known to our party; I don’t know him. I have been a member of this party since 1998 and I don’t know when he became a PDP member to be a PDP spokesman.”