Supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, have vowed to resort to self-defence if the Nigerian Police and other security forces fail to defend them from additional attacks in Rivers State.
Last Thursday, approximately 200 alleged thugs stormed the Port Harcourt residence of Senator Lee Maeba, Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the state, wounding his older brother and wrecking four of his vehicles.
But, speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt shortly after meeting with the PDP Presidential Campaign Council’s local government coordinators, a former Minister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo, urged security agencies to keep their promises.
Sekibo, who is also the director of the State Campaign Council, stated that it is the government’s responsibility to defend citizens’ lives and property.
“In light of what happened in the house of the Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, we summoned an emergency meeting of all Campaign Council coordinators in all 23 local government areas,” he said.
“We have just risen from that meeting, as well as the meeting held here in Obio/Akpor local government area at the Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council’s residence.” One of the topics we discussed was the attack on this property, which resulted in the damage of vehicles and the injury of some people.
“First, we assured our people that they have a responsibility to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement officials as they organise these meetings in their various local government districts, wards, and units.”
“We are urging security agencies to follow through on their promises. We have asked the NSA, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of DSS, and the NIA to guarantee that we are not compelled to turn to self-help in this position.
“Every serious politician in this state has supporters who believe in them and support them.” We will be compelled to seek self-help if the police and law enforcement organisations do not act, but we cannot stand by and watch individuals come and ruin both lives and property. That is the government’s job; the government is supposed to safeguard people and property.
“When council chairmen in this state are weaponized and ordered to ensure that political meetings do not take place in their local government regions, that does not bode well for our democracy.”
In an interview with journalists, Senator Lee Maeba, Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in the State, chastised the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Chris Finebone, for stating that the assault on his home was stage-managed
“I was the one who was attacked yesterday (Thursday), and to my astonishment, the Commissioner for Information went on the broadcast to declare it was a melodrama planned here,” Maeba stated.
“This is a stranger to our group; I’m not familiar with him.” I’ve been a member of this party since 1998, and I’m not sure when he decided to become a PDP spokesman.”