By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT—A yet to be identified member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, was yesterday reportedly shot during a protest to the state party secretariat in Port Harcourt.
This was following a protest by members of the party loyal to Sen. Magnus Abe over their alleged exclusion from the process.
The APC had, yesterday, held its delegate ward congresses across the 319 wards of the state in view of the forthcoming primary elections of the party.
While the process was ongoing at the different wards, some members of the party who appeared with placards, chanting Sen. Abe’s name stormed the state secretariat of the party, protesting their alleged exclusion from the process.
One of the protesters said: “We are all members of the party, but we were not allowed to take part in the ongress. We were excluded. We will not allow this injustice. They are trying to rig Magnus Abe out of the process but we will not allow it.” But while the protest was on, security operatives who were mobilised to ensure calm at the secretariat started shooting in the air, at which point the protest was allegedly hijacked.
State Publicity Secretary of APC, Senibo Finebone, regretted that mobs stormed the state office of the party, adding that the protesters had no clear demand.
He said: “This morning, we came in very early and started giving out materials for the ward congresses, but after a while we noticed mobs gathering at the state secretariat.
“The police tried to know what their purpose was, they were incoherent and without a leader, obviously a mob. So, the police concentrated on securing the secretariat, but the mob continued to grow in number.
“After a while, they started becoming violent and that was when the security called for reinforcement. Reinforcement came and the mob was not able to provide any coherent demand. They were only chanting the name of Magnus Abe.”
“We didn’t know why they should do that. That was the situation until they were chased away. I heard that somebody collapsed in the process but didn’t die.”
Finebone added that the outcome of the congress would remain valid, noting that the Independent National Electoral Commission, supervised the congress.