The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday in Abuja condemned the recent bout of murders in Rivers, describing the state as a killing field.
The Acting National Chairman of the party, Mr Segun Oni, said this during a news conference at the party secretariat, alleging collusion in the killings on the part of the State Government.
According to him, members of the APC are becoming endangered species in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controlled-state.
He said: “The APC National Working Committee draws the attention of security agencies and other relevant bodies to the latest string of gruesome politically-motivated killings targeted at APC members.
“This is happening in Rivers State in the lead-up to the March 19 Rivers State re-run elections into the National Assembly and State House of Assembly.
“Rivers State has been transformed into a killing field, with APC members being murdered on a daily basis. APC members in Rivers state are fast becoming endangered species.’’
Listing the murders, Oni said on March 5, masked gunmen shot Franklin Obi, the APC ward chairman in Omoku, headquarters of Ogab/Egbema/Ndoni council, beheading him alongside his wife and 18-year-old son, Bestman.
He said four others were killed recently in Obibi, Etche local government area while one Gabriel Cookey was clubbed to death in Opobo, Opobo/Nkoro council.
“In the last two weeks, over 30 APC members have been killed in different parts of the state.
“On Monday, March 7, Ofinjite Amachree, an APC stalwart in Buguma, Asari-Toru local government area of Rivers State was beaten up and thereafter, set ablaze in continuation of the latest string of politically-motivated killings targeted at APC members in Rivers State,’’ said the party.
He said threats allegedly issued by Gov. Nyesom Wike include telling officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prepare their will before conducting elections, threatening civil servants in the state to both support and work for the PDP or face sack.
He charged Wike to take responsibility for the killings as no life was worth sacrificing for political motives.
“The APC NWC calls on the Police and other security agencies to as a matter of urgency, rise up to stem the tide of politically-motivated killings and other forms of violence in Rivers State.
“The politically-motivated killings in Rivers State is a real emergency that should not be treated with kid gloves. The situation is distressing, tragic and a huge source of worry to the party.
“The APC NWC hereby calls on security agencies to be on high alert over the dangerous threats and actions by Gov. Wike and by extension the PDP in the lead-up to the Rivers re-run election.
“The APC will no longer fold its arms and watch our party members and supporters murdered daily in cold blood. This should stop,’’ Oni said.
Also reacting to questions on the killings of 18 PDP members in Ogoni land, the chairman said: “It is sordid. The killing of anybody whether Nigerian or not on our soil is condemnable.
“If it is true, we extend our condolences to the families of the 18. It is not about where anybody belongs but the killing of anybody on our soil is a condemnable act.
“Don’t let us justify any criminality on the altar of politics. We are holding him responsible because that is the job that the people of Rivers gave him. We hold him totally responsible without mincing words.’’
On Agatu killings, he said: “The situation is very unfortunate and regrettable. Why we have not addressed that is because it is not targeted at them because of their political affiliation.
“Security agencies should buckle up to prevent such occurrences in future.’’ (NAN)