The rerun elections for Rivers state slated for Saturday already promises to be a bloody affair, as political parties seem to be urging their supporters to violence.
Minister of Transport and a former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has spurred his All Progressives Congress (APC) members to match the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) force with force during the Saturday rerun polls in the state.
Amaechi said while addressing supporters at APC’s mega rally in Port Harcourt on Thursday, “This is what I call, elections of our lives.
“I used to tell you please don’t fight. But I think we will bend it a bit. Don’t kill anybody, but don’t be killed. My friend in the army told me if bullet is fired, the person that hears the sound is not the one that dies. If you allow them to shoot you, you will die. It’s not only them that have rights to life.”
The rally which witnessed the presence of APC leaders, including the party’s national chairman, Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun, 12 governors and federal lawmakers, was characterised with inciting speeches from the ruling party, as many of them charged their followers to confront PDP.
Some of the leaders of APC present at the rally included Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje; former Akwa Ibom Governor, Don Etiebet; Senator Jibrin Barau; and Ondo State Governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu.
Also speaking at the eent, Governor Ganduje, who is Chairman, Rivers State Election Rerun Campaign Committee, urged APC supporters to take cover and shoot at their opponents if they are shot at.
The state’s Commissioner for Information, Austin Tam-George, in a statement he released soon after the rally, blamed Amaechi for importing thugs and Boko Haram fighters, disguised as APC supporters, to cause mayhem in Rivers State.
He said, “Governor Ganduje had charged APC supporters to resort to violence during the rerun elections in Rivers State on Saturday, saying, “if they shoot you, take cover and shoot them.
“This is a shameful and egregious invitation to violence by the Kano State governor.”
He therefore called on the people of the state to resist any acts of electoral fraud by the police, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and APC before, during and after the elections on Saturday.