Senator Magnus Abe, the Gubernatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP in Rivers State, has condemned the attack on the party’s secretariat in Nonwa, Tai Local Government Area of the state.
Abe said the thugs, loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and armed with AK47 riffles and other dangerous assault weapons, stormed the party’s secretariat in Nonwa, which was scheduled to be opened on Monday and destroyed the facility.
According to him, the facility was donated by a party chieftain, adding that the chairman of the Council said it would not be inaugurated without his authorisation.
“When it was being made ready for commissioning, the chairman of Tai Local Government Area wrote a letter to the SDP in Tai, citing Order 21 and Order 22. We responded by stating that the said Order does not refer to party offices.
” Secondly, it was not the constitutional responsibility of the Local Government to enforce or interpret such Order. We urged the local government to provide security so we could inaugurate the office.
“It was shocking to us when we started receiving reports that the leadership of the PDP met and said that I would not be allowed to come to Tai and that no office of the SDP would open in Tai.
“It was a thing of shock when we started getting reports that thugs have started converging in the area, and in the early hours of Monday morning, they attacked and vandalised the secretariat, shooting sporadically, scattered the canopies that have been set for us to come and inaugurate the secretariat.”
Abe added that the chairman of the Council met with one of SDP’s leaders in Tai and told him that the party was undermining his authority by trying to come to his local government without his permission.
“He said he spoke with the Commissioner of Police and the CP agreed with him that they should stop the secretariat’s inauguration.
“I spoke with the Commissioner of Police, and he assured us that we would be protected, but these people went there and destroyed everything.
“To our greatest surprise, a few policemen posted to the place withdrew, telling us that they needed better signal and couldn’t withstand whatever was coming.”
When contacted, Grace Iringo-Koko, Spokesperson of the Rivers State Police Command, said she was unaware of the attack on the party’s secretariat, promising to revert back when she was briefed on the development.