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Rivers Crisis: APC Cries Out, Accuses Dep Speaker, LG Chair of Abducting Lawyer, INEC Materials

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By Eric Elezuo

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party-led government of Rivers State of masterminding the kidnapping of its lawyer, Dr. Godswill Dike, who is also the brother of the party’s legal adviser, Azubike Dike following what they described as ‘unsavoury developments and acts of aggression against us’.

The party raised the alarm in a statement jointly signed by the State Publicity Secretary, Darlington Nwauju and Spokesman, Rivers APC 2023 Campaign Council, Sogbeye C. Eli following a press conference.

The party specifically mentioned the Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Edison Ehie, and the chairman, Ikwerre Local government Council, Samuel Nwanosike as the brain behind the abduction while calling for the lawyer’s release and safety as well as the release of the INEC materials also seized by the abductors.

Going down memory lane of how the ruling party has muscled opposition parties in the building to, during and after the presidential and governorship elections held on February 25 and March 18, 2023, the statement called on President Muhammadu Buhari to called Governor Nyesom Wike to order and allow peace reign in the state.

Read the statement in full:

Gentlemen of the Press, this Press Conference by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Rivers State under the aegis of the State Publicity Secretary and Spokesman for the 2023 Campaign Council is called to intimate you of the continuation of the very unsavoury developments and acts of aggression against us by the People’s Democratic Party in the State.

2. We have just been informed about the abduction of Dr. Godswill Dike, a lawyer, member of our party and brother of the State Legal Adviser, Barr. Azubuike Dike, this evening right inside the Rivers State Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Aba Road, Port Harcourt. Dr. Godswill Dike was invited to the Commission to take delivery of the certified true copies of the INEC documents that we applied for pursuant to the provisions of Section 74 of the Electoral Act 2022.

3. Acting apparently on a tip-off, Edison Ehie and Samuel Nwasonike, aided by the surge of the PDP mob outside the premises swooped on him inside the INEC office shortly after Dr. Godswill Dike signed for the documents and sped away with him to the State Assembly residential Quarters behind the INEC State Headquarters.

4. Our initial reaction was to establish contact with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Jackson Alalibo Semikien, to report the criminal abduction of the aforementioned Dr. Dike. Curiously, the REC who has done nothing beyond a Press Release two days ago directing political parties to proceed to LGA Offices of the Commission for the election documents they may require, told our governorship candidate emphatically that there was nothing the Commission can do, having released the documents we applied for to Dr. Godswill Dike.

5. Contacts have also been made with the Deputy Speaker who assured his caller that Dr. Godswill Dike would return safe but the materials they took from him should be forgotten.

6. Calls made by our governorship candidate to the military also yielded no fruit with the hierarchy stating that until the military receive invitation from the Police they cannot be involved in a purely civil operation.

7. In the circumstance, we are left with no option but call on the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to immediately go after the Deputy Speaker, Edison Ehie, and the Ikwerre Council Chairman, Samuel Nwanosike to safeguard the life of Dr. Godswill Dike and retrieve our election materials from his abductors.

8. You will recall that the APC has been inundated with all sorts of attacks, arrests and other illegal actions by the PDP in Rivers State to obstruct our quest for justice at the Elections Petitions Tribunal as allowed by law. From the arrest of our lawyers in a Hotel and carting away of our party’s copies of elections materials, laying siege on the INEC State Headquarters to physically assaulting our governorship candidate, Arc. Tonye Cole, Mni who was at the same INEC State Headquarters last Monday invitation by the REC to the attack on our State Secretariat here where flags were pulled down and vehicles were destroyed at will, the ruling party has conducted itself with grave impunity since the rape of the rights of Rivers people and the electorate in the State to freely elect their Governor and representatives at both the National and State levels.

9. Nothing could have emboldened the kidnap of Dr. Godswill Dike this evening shortly after PDP members who had been camped at INEC invaded the Complex than the statement by Governor Nyesom Wike endorsing the illegal obstruction of opposition parties seeking to access the Commission’s Headquarters ahead of filing their petitions.

10. We have been subjected to several acts of provocation by the PDP yet have maintained equanimity of spirit to keep the peace in our State. Yet, our opponents are not about to allow the peace reign.

11. Consequently, we call on the President and Commander-in-Chief to rise to the occasion by calling the Governor of Rivers State to order and rescue our dear State from the anarchists who are Hell bent on self-perpetuation in power or destruction of Rivers State where their undemocratic plot fails. Up until now, we have done our bit as a law-abiding party as the rest of the nation has taken notice. The APC is asking that Governor Nyesom Wike and the PDP be held responsible for any breakdown of law and order in Rivers State.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

The Punch

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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