The All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, continued its nationwide registration of members with pockets of violence in a few locations, which reportedly led to the death of a youth in Rivers State.
Unknown gunmen allegedly stormed a registration point in Degema area of Rivers opened fire and killed a youth on the spot.
Violence was also allegedly witnessed in some other parts of the state. While condemning the pockets of alleged attack on members of the party in several parts of the state, Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari said it was shocking that this could happen during mere registration of party members.
According to her, a former Chairman of Rivers State Civil Service Commission, Mr. Ben Orugbani was allegedly attack by some youths in his Bakana hometown ahead of the registration exercise. The Commissioner said Mr. Orugbani’s house was riddled with bullets, adding that he escaped death by the whiskers. Continuing, she said Mr. Orugbani is the Coordinator of APC registration in the area, noting that his attackers fired several volleys of gun shots into his house.
She also alleged that a councillor in Ward 6, Okrika local government area was allegedly beaten by thugs on the orders of the rival Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state, stressing that similar attacks were witnessed in several parts of the state. Mrs. Semenitari blamed the PDP and the Grassroots Development Initiative, GDI, a pro-PDP group in the state for the alleged attack.
The APC registration continued yesterday in Edo State amid tension following the fracas that erupted in some local councils, Wednesday.
The Minority Whip of the House of Representatives, Samson Osagie and the political adviser to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Charles Idahosa, described the exercise as a huge success and urged the INEC to learn from the APC’s exercise.
Osagie said: “It is expected that there will be some disagreements in any exercise such as this but we have recorded huge success. This is hundred per cent better than what INEC did in Anambra State and that is why I will advise INEC to learn from what we are doing. I am very happy things are going well for the APC. Those who thought this exercise will divide us are hiding their heads in shame today.”
Thugs disrupt exercise in Abi, Cross River State
In Cross River State, APC registration officials embarked on door-to-door drive to register members.
The exercise was meant to be carried out at designated polling units but no official was seen at those centres particularly in Calabar, the state capital.
Vanguard on Monday and Tuesday tried to locate registration centres in the city but could not come across any. Rather some registration officials were seen knocking on doors of residents to get people registered.
A registration official, Okon Hanson told Vanguard that they were combing the nooks and crannies of the city to get people registered and the response had been encouraging.
He said: “We know that if we stayed on one spot people would not come out to register so we have to take the cards to them in their homes and shops.”
Saraki hails exercise in Kwara
In Kwara, people turned up in large numbers for the exercise. Registration papers had been exhausted in many centres visited by Vanguard in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
As of 12pm yesterday, registration materials had been exhausted at centres at Opo Malu, Unity Road and Stadium Road among others.
Immediate past governor of the state, Senator Bukola Saraki, who arrived at Agbaji in Ajikobi Ward in Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state for registration at about 3.30pm, expressed satisfaction with the turn out of people for the exercise, saying it was a strong indication that the party would record landslide victories in forthcoming elections.
He said: “Today I am here to register as a bonafide member of APC. It is of great joy that this journey has got to this place. In all the polling units, the initial number of 100 per polling unit has already been utilised in 1,894 polling units. You can do the arithmetic yourself, it means by now we are already having 189,400 votes in our kitty in just two days!”
Crisis rocks Gombe APC
In Gombe State, the APC is currently grappling with an internal crisis as the party commenced its membership registration yesterday.
The member representing Gombe/Kwami/Funakaye Federal Constituency, Khamisu Mailantarki, told reporters that the party had been hijacked by defectors from the PDP.
The lawmaker said the APC guidelines stated that each of the merging parties must be considered in the constitution of leadership at the state and local levels, which he said had not been done.
He said a complaint had been sent to the party’s national secretariat on the development but nothing was done about it.
Mailantarki appealed to the national leaders of the party to intervene and make the party in the state to abide by the guidelines and include everybody in the scheme of things.