The Rivers state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed the Amnesty Programme of the Rivers state government as a sham meant to hoodwink Nigerians.
The party stated in a statement released on Sunday by the state chairman, Chief Davies Ikanya, that the whole process was stage-managed as the arms being returned under the Amnesty Programme were being turned in by cultists empowered by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to cause insecurity in Rivers State before, during and after the 2015 general elections.
The statement made available to our correspondent in Port Harcourt, said: “We have continued to watch the drama where the Amnesty Programme script is being played out by the devious PDP government in the State and its militant wing. We hope that the movie directors in Africa Magic are watching the scenes with a view to adapting them for a blockbuster movie that will send leading movies on the continent to the archives.
“The Chairman of the Rivers state Amnesty Committee, Kenneth Chindah, recently stated, while submitting its report to Governor Wike that over 22,000 members of different cult groups have embraced the amnesty offer of the administration and that his committee observed that cultism is prevalent in all the 23 local government areas of the state.”
The APC chairman said that his party was not deceived as it was aware that “the cultists returning arms were the same group of young men equipped and empowered by the PDP leaders in Rivers State to intimidate, maim and kill opposition figures in the State.” He regretted that the “unholy project has claimed the lives of some leading Rivers State politicians, including over 200 members of APC.”
Chief Ikanya further stated that having realised the main aim of employing violence to win the 2015 general elections, the cultists were asked to return their arms and wait for the next general elections in 2019.
According to him, “some of these dangerous cultists have been encouraged not to surrender their arms and to ensure that the rerun election in the State billed for December 10 should not hold as PDP is not ready for any peaceful rerun election in Rivers State, after which they will join others in another round of amnesty drama.
“Sadly, most of these cultists are now empowered through political appointments and elective offices to sustain the bloody nature of Rivers State politics that has turned the State into Rivers of blood and a laughing stock among civilised states in the world.”
Rivers APC pleaded with the Nigeria Police to retrieve the returned arms kept in the Rivers State Government House under the watch of Gov. Wike for safe keep and question some of those who returned them as to the source of these arms. This, the party said, would enable the Police to stop further procurement, proliferation and circulation of these deadly weapons, while also preventing them from being recycled in future to cause more mayhem in the state.
In a related development, the PDP in Rivers State raised an alarm over alleged plots to scuttle the re-run elections by arrest some of its prominent members.
A press statement issued yesterday from the office of the State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah and signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needam, said the plot was to frame up unfounded charges against these people considered as stumbling blocks in the wards where the re-run elections would hold with a view to getting them arrested and detained by security operatives, before the December 10, 2016 date for the re-run election.
The State PDP chairman said his party was in possession of the list of the names of all its members and leaders marked for the hangman’s noose, stressing that the plot would be resisted with the last drop of their blood.
The party said: “Those already marked for arrest include the PDP leaders in all the wards and units where the elections are holding. Information at the disposal of the PDP reveals that the APC leadership in the State including, Magnus Abe, Barry Mpigi and other APC leaders in the affected areas for the re-run elections compiled the list of PDP leaders sent to the security agencies for arrest.
“We are, therefore, calling on the security agencies and the Nigerian people to take note of this evil plot which is certain to trigger off another round of avoidable crisis in the State due to the overzealousness of a few APC political desperados.”