Archive for January, 2015

Peoples Democratic Party’s Bloodletting and Acts of Terror in Rivers State – The Road to Perfidy

Posted on January 31, 2015. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

Peoples Democratic Party’s Bloodletting and Acts of Terror in Rivers State – The Road to Perfidy

Being text of a press conference by the Rivers state Chapter of All Progressive Congress, in Port Harcourt on Tuesday the 27th of January, 2015.

PROTOCOLS

The greatest obstacle to democratic consolidation in Nigeria is electoral violence. Pre-election violence particularly, is as a result of the rascally disposition of some desperate and greedy politicians who want to secure electoral victory by subverting the process and undermining the rule of law. Whilst the tendency for violence by the People Democratic Party (PDP) is common place, the progressive degeneracy of the situation in Rivers State has assumed an intolerable and indeed dangerous dimension. Apart from the fact that this phenomenon affects the credibility of the electoral process, the legitimacy of the election results and the rule of law; the nature, extent and magnitude of violence indicate unequivocally it is a deliberate tool for intimidation and terror adopted as a policy and backed by security institutions who are paid from our commonwealth to protect our citizens.

Whilst election is an irreducible feature of democratic governance, democracy is a social system of administering a nation-state where political parties candidates compete for elective positions in a free and fair election atmosphere, and in which the citizens are legally empowered to choose those who will run the affairs of the state in a given period. Elections are supposed to be competitive, free and fair both substantively and procedurally. Despite the legal frame work that guides the electoral process, the PDP has opted to thread the part of terror as an instrument of divesting the people of their constitutionally guaranteed power to freely cast their votes for their preferred leaders.

Electoral violence is any random or organized act that seeks to determine, delay or otherwise influence an electoral process through threat, verbal intimidation, hate speech, disinformation, physical assault, forced protection, destruction of property or assassination. The aim of electoral violence is either to influence the outcome of the process or to disrupt the entire electoral process.

Rivers State has over the years evolved as the oil and gas nerve centre of Nigeria. It has a growing population of about 5.1 million (the sixth most populous State in the Country) and impressive GDP of 21.07 billion USD – which is bigger than most African Countries such as Botswana, Rwanda, Nambia, Lesotho and etc. the enviable economic and socio-political scorecard of Rivers State has made electable positions attractive. Elections in Nigeria determine who controls and allocates resources and because of the strategic nature of Rivers State in the socio-political and economic calculus of the Country, the PDP controlled Federal Government spear headed by Mrs. Patience Jonathan (whose foot soldier is the obnoxious Nyesom Wike) has turned the contest for the control of the state resources into a fratricidal, tense and brutal one sided war.

The Federal Government of Nigeria under the collegiate presidency of Dr. and Dame Jonathan adopted a deliberate policy of state sponsored violence against Rivers People when it deployed a certain brute in police uniform named Mbu Joseph Mbu intentionally to promote (through manifestly corrupt and illicit means) the ascendancy of Mr. Nyesom Wike to political infamy. Mr. Mbu’s antics are too numerous and very well publicized. However, it may be necessary to remind us that since the day he shamelessly escorted known criminals and outlaws through the streets of Port Harcourt in the guise of a demonstration, violence triumphantly returned to Rivers State

The PDP having established its machinery for violence now began to unleash mayhem in the form of physical attacks on the APC members, killing and causing grievous bodily harm on our members across the State, destroying properties worth millions of naira in the process. It began with a tragicomedy of sorts which held the nation’s attention for several weeks. In the full glare of the nation, five disgruntled and misguided House of Assembly members led by one Evans Bipi and sponsored by the then Minister of State for Education, (both of whom are adopted sons of the President and his Wife), in the company of countless thugs, escorted by Mbu’s band of policemen attempted to overrun the House of Assembly. The ensuing fracas caused untold damage to the House of Assembly Complex, which was subsequently shut down by Mr. Mbu and has remained under lock and key despite several attempts by the Assembly members to gain access to conduct their lawful business.

The absurdity of the attack on the House of Assembly would confound any right thinking person who knows that there are thirty-two (32) members of the House of Assembly out of which, five (5) purported to impeach the Speaker. In the course of their quest to regain lawful access to the House of Assembly Complex, the twenty seven (27) members of the House of Assembly were forced to sit on the bare surface of Moscow Road from where Mr. Mbu dispersed them with tear gas. Mr. Mbu left Rivers State in exceedingly controversial circumstances after presiding over the return of Rivers State to a near state of anarchy into the warm embrace of the president and his dear wife who promptly rewarded him with a “well deserved” promotion. His legacies include the return of hitherto outlawed warlords who have reestablished their camps and are operating visibly. Before he was redeployed, his atrocities reached its apogee with the attempted murder of Senator Magnus Ngei Abe when police men on his orders attacked Save Rivers Movement members at College of Arts and Science premises in Rumuola, Port Harcourt.

Gradually but steadily, the PDP local militia led by Nyesom Wike, funded by the Federal Government and aided by the security institutions have now converted the State to a war zone killing, maiming and taking captives of APC members at will. This is how the Nation Newspaper of Friday, January 23, 2015 captured the situation in Rivers State “For weeks now, men without spine, men of brawn and please permit to add-who lack humanity and conscience have put Rivers State, the Lagos of the Southsouth, on the spot. It is either they are shooting guns or they are throwing bombs. And when they do it, they hide their faces. They are under the cover of the dark masks. Aside guns and dynamites, they also use machetes and other dangerous weapons. Heads have been broken. Necks have been twisted. Arms have had hot leads pumped into them. And there was a woman whose back was reshaped with bullets. It is simply a tale of blood – which has left sorrow and tears in many homes”.

CASES OF VIOLENCE AND BODILY HARM ON APC MEMBERS

The following are but a few of the known cases of death and grievous bodily injuries caused our members by the PDP through its members and hirelings:

Perhaps, the most brazen of all attacks took place in the early morning of the flag off of the Presidential Campaign of the APC in Port Harcourt. Two different sets of gunmen attacked buses conveying APC supporters from different parts of Rivers State to Port Harcourt. The buses located several hundred kilometers from each other were riddled with bullets. A day after the attack the police naively dismissed the attacks as incidents of armed robbery. Whilst it must be noted that nothing was stolen from the victims, one must ask the police why the “robbers” isolated APC members on the same day, at about the same time and in two different locations in the State?

Several APC supporters on their way to the official flag off of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential campaign in Port Harcourt were attacked by gunmen near Harry’s Town in Degema and Sakpenwa in Tai. The cowards were not bold enough to do it without hiding under face masks. They left many unconscious and in their pool of blood and fled into anonymity to spend the filthy money from their cowardly masters.

Ask Aadum Pya-alu, Beatrice Deemua, Sobari Npebee, Barbe Jack, Victory Vinam and Wisdom Akpogbara and they will tell the tales that not only touch the hearts but break them. Pya-alu’s leg shot by the cowards tell all the story; Beatrice’s back-arm can never forget the day hot leads were pumped into it; Npebee, who was shot in the lead and neck, is lucky to be alive to tell the story; and elated is Jack for not dying as a result of the gun attack on his stomach; so is Vinam, who was shot in the leg; and Akpogbara must be thanking God that the bullet he received on the head for daring to identify with Gen. Buhari’s aspiration did not kill him. One wonders what they think about the police’s claim that they were victims of armed robbery, yet their valuables were not taken.

Soon after this, the APC local chapter secretariat in Okrika, the home of Madam Patience Jonathan was destroyed by a bomb explosion. Whilst no life was lost, party members have been terrorized and the message is clear that the PDP and its dangerously armed terrorist gangs will not allow APC to lawfully contest for the votes in Okrika Local Government Area.

Chief Engr. Orerehim was on the 10th of January, 2015 beaten alongside others when they were having an APC chapter meeting at Oro-owo, Rumueme, Ward 10, Obio-Akpor LGA by thugs sponsored by Hon. Timothy Nsirim, a former Local Government Chairman, cousin and political ally of Nyesom Wike. He was seriously beaten and injured. He reported the matter to Rukpakani Police station, Ada George road. No arrest, invitation or investigation was made by the police.

On the 11th January, 2015, the Paramount Ruler of Rumuolumuni Town in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, HRH Eze Ndubueze Wobo Oumeni, ordered that all APC bill boards/posters be removed by PDP members in his community on the ground that his community belongs to the PDP. One Chief Wobo Owhor led some young men to carry out the order of the Paramount Ruler. One Hon. Kingsley Emenike tried to stop the destruction of APC signages. Chief Wobo Owhor and his boys bet Emenike up. His head was broken by one Martins Amadi and was taken to the hospital only for him to be arrested on his hospital bed and later released on bail. Aham Wobo who was not at the scene was also arrested and in detention presently, a case of the complainant being the accused. Nyeweli Omunakwe Nyeche Nsirim, King of Rumueme community who is Timothy Nsirim’s father, put a lie to his son and the PDP’s story when he accused his son of using thugs to disrupt the All Progressives Congress (APC) rally. According to him, the APC stalwarts in the community duly obtained the blessing of the Chiefs to organize their political rally. He describe as false the claim by the PDP that Okocha and APC supporters attacked the former council chairman. The question I ask is: Is the traditional ruler lying against his son?

On the 16th of January, 2015, the PDP fired what would now be a warning shot of its serial bombing campaign when explosives were detonated in the Andoni Local Chapter Secretariat of the APC.

On the 22nd of January, 2015 in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area, some group of PDP thugs led by Hon. Evans Bipi destroyed APC billboards/banners and injured one Mr. Precious Tende. That was the third time Evans Bipi and his cohorts had willfully destroyed APC banners/billboards in Ogu, headquarters of the Local Government Area. the Ogu Council of Chiefs, the police at Ogu, the SSS and the Joint Task Force Unit are all aware of it.

On the 23rd of January, 2015, some PDP thugs numbering about 24 attacked the private residence (Ihunwo Street, Rumuwike) of Barr. Cyprian Chukwu, a member of APC in Ward 9 destroying valuable properties. He was lucky not to be at home when they came. They decapitated a young man in the premises and he is lying critically ill in the hospital with machete wounds on both arms.

In the early hours of the 24th of January, 2015, thugs on the orders of Mrs. Patience Jonathan, PDP attacked the National field in Okrika which was to be the venue of APC rally scheduled for the 24th of January, 2015 with guns and explosive devices, destroyed the musical/public address system, canopies, podium and chairs. Thereafter, they attacked the residence of APC Councilors and members in Okrika Local Government Area. The police are yet to make any arrests.

Most of these heinous crimes have been aided and abetted by the police. In some cases, they simply looked the other way whilst the crimes were committed whilst in some others they arrested the APC complainants or members of supporters on phantom charges just to neutralize the political influence of the APC in the area. below are some of the flagrant cases of police harassment, intimidation, unlawful arrests and detention against members and supporters of APC in Rivers State.

CASES OF POLICE VICTIMIZATION, ARRESTS, DETENTION, BRUTALIZATION OF APC MEMBERS IN RIVERS STATE

In Omuma Local Government Area, Hon. Emeka Wogu, a former member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, a former Commissioner and currently Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Omuma Local Government Council was arrested and accused of shooting at Mr. President’s billboard. Meanwhile, that very day 25th August, 2014, he was at Joint Allocation Committee meeting in Port Harcourt and was nowhere near Omuma Local Government Area. He arrested on the 27th August, 2014 by over 60 armed policemen in a commando style, handcuffed in the presence of his children, thrown into SARS, Port Harcourt, detained for 2 days and released without any charge.

In Soku Community, five APC supporters, Kalas Okpara, Brown and others were arrested on 28th of November, 2014 on spurious allegations of sea piracy held up in SARS. Only one was released while others are still facing incarceration.

In Ahoada East Local Government Area, Mr. Grant Otis Ideozu, APC party agent for prison Barracks unit 6, ward 4, Ahoada East LGA was arrested on the 5th of December, 2014 by the DPO (Ahoada Division) on the allegation that he had an altercation with someone at the unit during the collection of PVC. He was beaten up and locked up for days, transferred to Port Harcourt for further detention and released on the 13th December, 2014 without a single complaint by anybody.

In Emuoha Local Government Area, Hon. Gowon Emma Wokea, a former Councilor and an APC stalwart in Ibaa, Emuoha Local Government was arrested on the 10th December, 2014 t Rukpokwu Town, Obio-Akpor Local Government by SARS operatives. They alleged that APC bought guns for Mr. Wokea and other APC supporters. Others who were arrested with him were released while he was transferred to Force Headquarters, Abuja where he is still been held up till date with no charges filed or pending against him.

In Akuku Toru Local Government Area, Stanley Don Pedron Ngoye Briggs and Sunny Ereme were similarly held on false charges at SARS since 10th December, 2014 and only released about 2 weeks ago. Ngoye Briggs was arrested for withdrawing money from his account in UBA, Abonnenna. While others were arrested on “suspicions of having capacity to cause problems”. All arrests were just to pave way for PDP to have an edge over the APC during collection of PVCs in the area. Christian Don Pedro from Kula was arrested on 13th December, 2014 at Kala Town for going home to register during the continuous voters registration exercise on the spurious allegation of threat to life and abduction of a soldier. All allegations proved false, yet he has not been released. He has been detained at SARS since then.

In Ikwerre Local Government Area, Godwin Wojinda was arrested by SARS for stopping one Isi from running away with PVCs belonging to ward 3, Omagwe, Ikwerre Local Government Area. He is still in Police detention even when the culprit returned the hijacked material to the INEC Local Government Area Electoral Officer. He was not arrested rather the complainant was arrested and still in police detention.

In Omuma Local Government Area on the 15th of December, 2014, Hon. Justice Nwogu (CTC member and supervisor, security and social development, Omuma LGC) was arrested at Rukpokwu in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area over framed up charges of illegal possession of firearms and attempted murder just because he had a squabble with PDP members. He is still being held in SARS deadly cell. The police have not commenced any form of investigations and no charges have been filed against him.

In Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Mr. Pius Wosu, APC Ward 16, Chairman in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area was arrested and detained on 7th January, 2015 in the State criminal investigation department (SCID) on a trumped-up charge of malicious damage of PDP billboard. Mr. Pius Wosu was incarcerated at the SCID for over 2 weeks. On the early morning of the said date, Mr. Pius visited ward 16 office only to discover that all the party flags, billboards and party candidates’ posters within the party office had been destroyed and carted away.

Mr. Pius promptly informed other leaders of the ward of that development and was advice to immediately report the matter to Ozuoba Police station. On getting there to report the matter to the police, Mr. Pius was informed that there was similar report already against him and eight (8) others. Nine of them were subsequently detained at SCID.

In Eleme Local Government Area, Solaka Osaro Saloka, Gomba Obo Saloka, Olua Saloka, Victor Nnaa Oji, Nsikak and Prince were arrested on Monday, 13th January, 2015, bailed on Tuesday 14th January, 2015 for one million naira and re-arrested on the 15th January. They were detained at SCID for protesting over the removal of APC billboards by PDP members.

In Degema Local Government Area, Otonyemie Kuna, Truman Agiobu, Solomon Yellow, Success Braide, Kunle and Omuo Sunday, APC supporters in Degema Local Government were arrested on Wednesday, 14th January, 2015 allegedly for gun trafficking and now in SSS cell, Port Harcourt. There is no evidence to support the allegations. Their arrest is just part of a larger plan of PDP in Rivers State to arrest most APC loyalists before the general election on February 14, 2015.

In Abua/Odual Local Government Area, Igoma Loveday Gift, Caretaker Chairman, Abua/Odual, Udi Udum former Chairman, Abua/Odual Local Government Council and Raphael Muzan Ekpelu, have been under constant harassment and intimidation by the police over deaths that occurred as a result of cult clash on the 15th January, 2015 during the PDP Governorship Campaign rally in Abua/Odual. They were all not in Abua/Odual on that said day and are not members or sponsors of any cult group they were detained for nearly one week.

On the 15th of January, 2015 in Oyigbo Local Government Area, ward 5 where PDP supporters removed posters of APC candidates. APC members of the ward led by the ward Chairman, Monday Omezuruike protested. The ware Chairman was arrested and beaten up by the police and detained in Afam police division.

Our initial reactions to these flagrant abuses and physical attacks were in the form of strident calls to the President to use his high office to cause the cessation of unprovoked hostility and violence against our people. Of course, these calls fell on ears deafened by an unbridled hatred for Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and an unquenchable desire to punish him for daring to speak out against the incompetence, insensitivity and duplicity of the Jonathan’s presidency and the intolerable meddlesomeness of an incurably obtrusive and cantankerous wife who manifests more power than the President. It took the National Assembly’s constitutional intervention to prevent a gang star style takeover of the Rivers State Government. Even then, the National Assembly resolution demanding redeployment of Mr. Mbu was disdainfully ignored by the President.

As the 2015 general election approaches, the scale, magnitude and intensity of the orchestrated violence against members of the APC is assuming a frightful dimension necessitating that we cry out to the Nigerian and International Community. Our plight is akin to that of a people in a militarily conquered and occupied territory. PDP thugs and hirelings practically commit murders under the watchful and protective eyes of the police without as much as a slap on the wrist, the objective being to antagonize and intimidate our supporters into believing that it is unsafe for them to come out and vote, thus effectively disenfranchising them.

This press conference is our distress call to all men, women, organizations, nations and people who cherish democracy to intervene before it is too late. It is unimaginable that a president who himself claims his roots from the Niger Delta region and who assumed office on the wings of agitations for equity and justice would permit unprovoked premeditated violent attacks on the same people he hopes to ride on their primordial sentiments to retain his presidency. The president’s cavalier attitude to the escalating violence in the State borders on criminal negligence because he knows or ought to know (or in the least remember) the level of arms in circulation and the historical volatility of the State (and region).

Not too long ago, the President pretended that the Boko Haram menace was a local religious nuisance not worthy of his attention. Today, it has snowballed into a full scale civil war in at least three (3) states in North Eastern Nigeria with thousands of men, women, girls and boys killed, kidnapped or unaccounted for. Today in Nigeria, the death or kidnap of fifty, hundreds or even a thousand Nigerians in the hands of Boko Haram is not worthy of comments by the President but he found his voice to inexplicably condemn the killing of eleven people in France. Whilst we join the world in condemning the unfortunate terrorist attack on the media house in France, we call on the International Community to persuade our president to rise to the task of leadership to protect lives and property, or step down from the presidential contest as he has no moral standing to be flying around in a presidential jet campaigning for re-election protected by dozens of other aircrafts and thousands of military personnel whilst unable to perform his primary constitutional function as president – to protect Nigerian lives and property even on our soil.

We call on Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, the relevant organs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) to immediately commence independent inquires into the gruesome attacks and killings in Rivers State. We call on these and other humanitarian and democratic organizations and institutions to set high powered election monitoring networks, teams and processes to monitor the election in Rivers State to avert unnecessary bloodbath which may cripple our already weakened economy. An acceptable electoral outcome is possible in Rivers State but only if the elections are truly free and fair. There cannot be free and fair election if the spate of violence high handedness intimidation and terror is not halted. We pledge to remain law abiding but we shall defend ourselves, our people and their votes by all lawful means.

May God bless Rivers State and bless Nigeria too.

CHIEF DAVEIS IBIAMU IKANYA

Chairman, APC, Rivers State

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We Congratulate R/S PDP for Facilitating a Presidential Confession

Posted on January 31, 2015. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

We Congratulate R/S PDP for Facilitating a Presidential Confession

 

image001The Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress [APC] would like to congratulate the PDP for providing a platform for their Presidential Candidate and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to confess that he has not done anything of significance for Rivers State in his 6 years as President of Nigeria.

 

We recall that the Presidential confession, made by President Jonathan at yesterday’s PDP Presidential campaign rally in Port Harcourt, completely agrees with the position of the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, that the Federal Government led by President Jonathan has been deliberately wicked to Rivers people. We also believe that the ambience, capacity and integrated nature of Adokie Amiesimaka Sports Complex might have compelled Mr. President to make such a rare confession. We thank him and the PDP all the same.

 

However, we regret that the PDP had to rent crowd from faraway Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Bayelsa, Abia and other nearby states to successfully fill the 40 thousand capacity sports complex built by the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi administration for the PDP Presidential Campaign rally. Such self-delusory dishonesty is what we in the APC abhor and we know that the PDP Presidential Candidate probably deserved better.

 

The APC would like to urge the PDP to find time to similarly take Mr. President through the Eleme Junction Interchange, the Obri Ikwerre Flyover on Federal Government East/West Road and other projects executed by the Governor Amaechi administration in less than 8 years. May be, Mr. President would be moved to go beyond confession and refund the N105 billion of Rivers taxpayers’ money deployed by Governor Amaechi in the rehabilitation/reconstruction of Federal roads in Rivers State.

 

For example, when Governor Amaechi came to power in 2007, it used to take more than 6 hours to make a round trip between Port Harcourt and Obigbo on a typical day.  Governor Chibuike Amaechi had to hearken to the agonies and pleadings of the people and residents of the state by constructing the Eleme Junction Interchange after approval by the Federal Government who are the asset owners and based on the promise that the Federal Government would refund the costs promptly. To this day, Mr. President has refused to refund a kobo of that money.

 

Finally, the APC empathises with the PDP that due to the late arrival of Mr. President and his entourage, the rented crowd from faraway places like Calabar, Benin, Uyo and Yenagoa, had earlier left the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium for their tortuous journey back home in view of the distance and bad roads. This resulted in the President and his entourage meeting a half empty stadium to his chagrin and that of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. We wish the PDP better luck next time! And that can only be assured if they get honest with themselves and refrain from such perfidy as renting crowd for rallies. You can rent crowd but not their conscience.

 

 

Chris Finebone

State Publicity Secretary

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Book Review: Ome Ihe Jide Ofo! Afo

Posted on January 15, 2015. Filed under: Poem/literary Review |

Book Review: Ome Ihe Jide Ofo! Afo

By Stephen Obinna Abara

Book Reviewer: Yvonne Maria Phillip

Title of Book: Ome Ihe Jide Ofo! Afo

Playwright: Stephen Obinna Abara

Publisher: Glomac Publishing, Canada, 2014, pg50.

ISBN: 9785-8844-566644-6

ome ihe jide ofo ! AfoIn this four-part play we see the rising of a feud and the downfall of a young girl who ‘first practice to deceive’. Many issues and division lines are touched on in this play; the older generation’s outlook verses the younger generation’s outlook; the attitude of men verses the attitude of women over certain issues, traditional gods verse Christian God.

Each scene is fashioned in such a way that it gives the audience time to relax and to anticipate. The first part starts out slowly introducing the main characters and giving relevant background information, premonition in the form of a dream to prepare the audience for what is to come, and the slow build-up of tension.

In part two having set up the reasons for this conflict, the writer backs off on the tension with a scene still relevant, but funny in its delivery.

The narrator’s opening lines are reminiscent of a number of great works of literature when he foretells the disaster between two families; with the main players—one boy and one girl, which soon turns into a matter of family pride.

 

Obika—the accused—is accused of an abomination his father does not believe him capable of; his faith in this son is so great that he implies his other son was more like to ‘get a girl in trouble’. Obika the Humble Giant—the accused person’s personality is such, that he inspires this trust from his father.

The narrator states that the girl Chinwem—the accuser has been known to lie big time to her parents, so far as to have had several abortions without their knowing.

In the opening scenes, (chief) Udokamma— father of the accused, is forewarned in a dream, of trouble heading their way. He had a bad dream, and, worried about what it would mean, calls his wife in to discuss it with her. The first thing he does when she sits down is ask about their sons Chibuzo and Obika, and is told that they went to a nearby farm—Nkwo-Oji—near a local market.

His dream is of a Lion and Cat fighting. “The giant cat succeeded in killing the lion and was thrown into exile; all of a sudden an unknown man accused me of breaking his Barn”. His wife— angry at the revelation—tries to get him to relax stating that “I believe it’s an ordinary dream…” and that he should forget about it. But it is not unimportant.

Many cultures believe in the significance of dreams and their unerring ability to hold true. In such societies the weird dreams are the ones with meaning and consequences in the life of the dreamer. There are ordinary dreams where someone mentions to a friend, ‘I had a dream last night.’  And then there are dreams where someone says to a friend, ‘I had a weird dream last night’. In these dreams the universe is trying to tell the dreamer something of importance to his or her life; they are in essence a look in to the future of bad things to come, so when Ugomma—mother of the accused, gets agitated and tells her husband that she believes his dream is just an ‘ordinary’ dream, she spoke from the position of someone in the mode of wishful thinking, for in her heart she didn’t believe her own words.

In scene two we are introduced to Mrs. Grace Nwanna and mother her husband Chijioke—the parents of Chinwem—the accuser. Concerned with the opinion of others, Grace says “what is it that is coming our way in this house?” and immediately mentions her daughter Chinwem. Chijioke tells her not to worry, appearing unconcerned. And by his behaviour, she suspects that he is drunk.

Chinwem is summoned by her father who immediately starts heaping insults and put downs upon her, ignoring his wife’s plea to take it easy. He asks her to name the father of her baby and threatens to disown her she denies knowing. He appears to be a man who is displeased with his daughter’s choices in life and has resentment that she did not go to University. Grace’s reluctance to once again be blamed for her daughter’s wayward behaviour speaks of self-preservation more than of the well-intentioned; although, she thought the abomination could be less felt, and less pronounced if her daughter hooks someone in her own home town instead of her marital one.

Grace pulls her daughter aside and tells her to go to her own hometown, chose a man she likes, to name as the father of her unborn child. Chinwem protests, but relents under the weight of her mother’s disapproval and bitterness. She says wistfully, “I like Obika, the Humble Giant. He’s my childhood friend. His parents know me….” and so begins the first step to disaster.

Next we meet the accused Obika—the accused, and childhood friend and playmate of Chinwem. Chinwem arrives bright and early at Obika’s house, and begins laying the ground work for the accusation. Mimicking the voice of his ex-girlfriend, she calls him ‘sweetie’ and ‘darling’, at the top of her lungs, and he opens the door.  When he realizes that she was not who she pretended to be he is surprised;  she detracts him by pointing out that it’s been a long time since they’ve last seen each other.  Enthused, he falls in line with her plan by kissing her passionately, then leading her in to be reacquainted with his father. And so the foundation for the accusation is laid as she gets reacquainted with the family.

Soon after, events sail along in a well-orchestrated web of deceit spun by the family of the accuser. They bring pressure to bear on Obika’s family in quick succession. It’s funny; it’s bold and just plain stunning. Chinwem continues to visit until boldly, causally she announces to Obika that he is going to become a father.  “Obika, I think, am pregnant.” He laughs thinking it a joke. He asks “For who?” at some point her parents come by with reinforcements in an attempt to strong-arm the family of the accused into an offer of marriage. With swift efficiency the accusation is solidified.

The foreshadowing of a dream has becomes reality; the lion and the cat a representation of the two families. A series of accusation from one family using strong-arm tactics to save face and reputation, by boldly holding another family accountable for the things that they have not done; that family fighting defend itself from false accusations. What follows is gossip, with neighbours and friends taking sides. The innocence of a childhood friendship now years later is looked on by some as sinister and unnatural.

Chidi—cousin of the accused, decides to investigate,  because he just can’t believe it.

In the third part, an official investigation is launched. Chief F.C. Udokamma calls the elders of his village together, makes them aware of the situation, and sets the official investigation into motion. Tension once again rises as he and his wife wait for the results of the investigation. He calls on his ancestors to help him through.

Soon the truth is discovered and exposed by Nnennem—great, great grandmother of the accuser, and the only one who seems to have Chinwem’s best interest at heart. She says to Chinwem “….the truth will set you free.” The truth is ugly, but not unheard of.

When things get closer to being resolved, like duellist choosing swords at dawn, the weapons of choice becomes religion. The family of the accused is Christian, and the family of the accuser is not. So when the elders from Umuororonjo asks Udokamma who he swears by, and he responds that he doesn’t swear by anything, one elder replies, “….As a custodian of our people…. you need to clear up yourself, your household, and your kings-men.”

In the fourth part, Afo market day—the day of the trial. Each household holds to their position on the matter and agues passionately. Udokamma—father of the accused, swore by the god chosen knowing there would be consequences to false statements.

Maria Phillip is a Freelance Editor from the Caribbean

Although there is an accuser and an accuse in this play; it was not so much about them as it was about family honour, and as the scenes unfold, the two main players seemed to take a back seat to the will of the parents and elders who were fighting for the honour of their people as well, so it became as epic as Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story. It’s worth reading.

Maria Phillip is a Freelance Editor from the Caribbean

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Restrain PDP Brigands in Rivers State from political violence – Rivers APC

Posted on January 11, 2015. Filed under: Press Release | Tags: |

Restrain PDP Brigands in Rivers State from political violence – Rivers APC

… Accusation against APC Bunkum

 

The Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress [APC], says its attention has been drawn to a mendacious and spurious allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] to the effect that members of the APC in Rivers State shot and killed two members of the PDP two days ago.

 

The party in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary Mr Chris Finebone said, as much as the allegation is wild and without substance, we are convinced that the Nigerian Police and other security agencies now have Mr. Jerry Needam and his Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah to assist them in uncovering the identities of those behind the killing, if there was any. This is predicated on their express assertion accusing the APC, meaning that they know those involved in the alleged sinister act.

 

APC observed that the PDP has established, over time, a pattern of raising spurious and unfounded accusations whenever it has hatched a plan to cause mayhem to the APC or even to their members.

 

Continuing, the party said, in line with that established pattern, the PDP unleashed mayhem last Friday’s night when it’s suspected members and hirelings went on rampage and completely destroyed all APC posters, billboards and other outdoor signage in Akukutoru Local Government Area of Rivers State, preparatory to the visit of their Governorship candidate, Nyesom Wike, to Abonnema, the Akukutoru LGA headquarters yesterday.

 

“At this moment, APC members are still counting their losses as they gather evidence in form of photographs of the massive destruction.

 

“Curiously, the APC billboard directly opposite the Abonnema Divisional Police Station was also not spared and the Police DPO and his men are not coming up with any explanations.

 

“As soon as we conclude the gathering of evidence, the APC will tomorrow brief the press of our findings with facts and figures.

 

“The sordid memory of the shooting of our members in Khana, Akukutoru and Asaritoru by suspected PDP members, whose only crime was embarking on a journey to be part of the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Flag-off last Tuesday, is still fresh in the minds of peace-loving people of Rivers State.

 

“Finally, all empirical evidence points to the PDP resorting to violence at the slightest opportunity as they seem to have violence embedded in their DNA.

 

“We call on the Nigerian Police and all security agencies to be bold enough to carry out their constitutional responsibilities by reining in these primitive men of yesterday who do not understand, or worse still, accept the tenets of modern democratic behaviour”, APC appeald.

 

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Political Violence: PDP will be disgraced in next month’s Polls, declares Rivers APC

Posted on January 11, 2015. Filed under: Politics |

Political Violence: PDP will be disgraced in next month’s Polls, declares Rivers APC

By Nwaorgu Faustinus

DR IKANYA IBIAMU DAVIES THE APC RS INTERIM CHAIRMANThe opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has been told that the resort to violence will not save it from being disgraced during next month’s general elections.

The ruling party in the State, the All Progressives Congress (APC), made this declaration while reacting to the violence unleashed by suspected PDP paid agents on APC supporters who were on their way to the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex, Port Harcourt, on Tuesday for the APC Presidential Rally.

Gunmen believed to be hired by PDP leaders had opened fire on the APC supporters from Asari Toru and Khana local governments, leaving eight of them in critical condition and battling for their dear lives at the intensive care unit of the Kesley Harrison Hospital, Port Harcourt. The attacks took place at Abalama in Asari Toru local government and Kira in Tai local government, respectively.

Berating PDP for the unfortunate incident, Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said: “We wish to strongly condemn this resort to violence by the drowning PDP, which, despite all our entreaties, has failed to see that politics is not war but a democratic way of allowing the people to voluntarily choose their leaders. It is unfortunate that rather than heed our previous advice to honourably withdraw from the governorship election to avoid being disgraced, PDP leaders prefer to unleash violence on APC faithful. We, however, wish to assure them that we shall neither be intimidated nor stoop so low to embrace violence since we cannot take up arms against the very people whose mandate we are seeking through the forthcoming polls.”

Rivers APC sympathised with the victims of the unprovoked violent attack, assuring them that the party will never abandon them but is committed to their quick recovery and discharge from the hospital to enable them rejoin their loved ones soon.

The party expressed gratitude to Governor Chibuike Amaechi for ordering the very best medical attention for the shot APC members. It also commended the party’s governorship candidate, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, for paying a sympathy visit to the shot men in their hospital beds. “By so doing, Dr. Peterside has once more displayed his compassionate nature and demonstrated his readiness to identify with all Rivers people in their travails. We are confident that the good people of Rivers State will empower him with their votes on February 28 to enable him provide the kind of purposeful leadership our dear State deserves at this critical point in its history,” Rivers APC said.

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