Wike accuses APC of plot to disrupt council polls


Port Harcourt—GOVERNOR  Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday,  claimed  the state government had intelligence report that  a faction  of All Progressives Congress, APC, was arming  political thugs  to disrupt local government elections  taking place tomorrow in the state. But in a swift reaction, APC denied that it was planning to disrupt the council polls, saying it had no stake in the election. This came as the state Police Command said it would deploy over 15000 personnel across the state  for the election, warning youths to avoid being used to cause panic during the process. Governor Wike, in a state broadcast, alleged that the APC faction planned to disrupt the elections  in Abua/Odual, Akuku Toru,  Asari Toru, Degema, Emohua, Ikwerre, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Opobo and Tai local government areas. He said: “The arrowheads of this satanic plot are recruiting and arming political thugs with guns to be deployed on the eve of the election to create an atmosphere of insecurity in these and other local government areas and scare voters to shun the polling stations. “ In the light of the these dangerous threats from these people, therefore, I wish to call on the security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police to live up to their primary responsibility of providing adequate security for the election and deal decisively with those who may attempt to disturb the peace, order and security of the State before, during and after the election.” He said that the state government had received concrete assurances from the heads of all the security agencies that they had put adequate measures to secure the peace and ensure orderly conduct of the election. He noted that the Rivers State government would hold the security agencies accountable should insecurity  be experienced in the state in the course of the elections. It is a lie, we have no stake— APC But reacting through its Publicity Secretary,  Mr. Chris Finebone, APC  said: “It is absolutely important to quickly mention that the APC, its leaders and members across Rivers State have no stake in the sham local council elections and have no reason at all to consider or disrupt a process we have clearly distanced ourselves from and made such position known to the world. “However, it is pertinent to state that in that broadcast, Gov. Wike was simply showcasing his typical self by shying away from the groundswell of protests by cheated PDP members who have told him to his face that they will disrupt the sham council polls especially in the local government areas he enumerated in his broadcast. “It is clear without doubt that by dragging the names of the APC and its leaders into the fray, Nyesom Wike was merely pre-empting the disruption his disgruntled party men and women have vowed to visit on the sham elections  on Saturday.” Police warn against violence, deploy 15,000 personnel Meanwhile, the state police command also announced that there would be restriction of movement during the exercise, stressing that police has put in adequate plans for violent free polls. Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Zaki,  while briefing newsmen on the preparedness of police on the elections, said: “As a command, we have braced up to the challenges of the elections and accordingly put in place adequate security measures to ensure that the local government elections are free, fair credible and devoid of any violence. “Consequently, we have drawn up our operations order which have captured all our deployments, including those of other security agencies. In all, about 15,000 security personnel drawn from the police and all the agencies will be deployed for the exercise.” “There will be a total restriction of movement of persons, vehicles both on land and air, between the hours of  7a.m. to 4p.m.  on Saturday.   The police and other security agencies will monitoring the the exercise and to ensure that there is due compliance to this directive.   Therefore any person or group of persons in default will be arrested and prosecuted. However, Zaki, warned important personalities and politicians against going to the polling units with their security details, urging members of the public to obey the directives of the police to ensure sanity during the elections.

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