PDP Secretariat set ablaze by suspected arsonists
- The party condemn failed attempt by political mercenaries
By Ehi Ekhator, Naija Center News
The Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP strongly condemns failed attempt by political mercenaries, using combustible substance to set its State Secretariat, along Aba Road in Port Harcourt, ablaze in the early hours of today, Friday, October 31, 2014.
In the early hours of today, some group of boys invaded the State Secretariat of the PDP, locked the Security guards at the premises, poured petroleum product (fuel) on the two storey building which ignited fire that could not create positive impact on the ground floor of the PDP State Secretariat.
The Party expresses serious concern and suspicion on the manner and timing of the event which occurred just less than 24 hours after a group of dissidents comprising a handful of expelled and suspended members of the Party and mixed with agents and members of the All Progressives Congress, who sparsely congregated at the liberation stadium, Elekahia, during which they threatened violence on the PDP and its leaders, as some of them called for the postponement of the ward congresses of the party billed for tomorrow Saturday.
The Party also notes that few minutes after the unfortunate incident of arson on its Party Secretariat, in a manner that suggested that they are privy to the arrangement, and what looks like an already prepared press statement, waiting for the incident to occur, the Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, through one Chris Finebone, issued a press statement and laid claim to the property as belonging to the Rivers State Government.
The statement added “It appears to us that they either masterminded it or wanted the property razed down to claim the land, since according to them; it belongs to the Rivers State Government. It is also obvious that the APC elements are determined to make the State ungovernable only to blackmail members of our great Party, the PDP.”
The Rivers State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP hereby calls on the Inspector General of Police, IGP, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, and all relevant security agencies in the country to invite for interrogation, Chris Finebone and organizers of the ill fated rally on Thursday at Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt, who have already been revealed by Mr Finebone as those behind the dastardly act. Mr. Chris Finebone, had in a Press Statement in which he signed as State Publicity Secretary said, “their evil scheme has finally become public knowledge early this morning as men of the Rivers State Government Fire Service are battling to contain the fire at the PDP State Secretariat ostensibly carried out by a faction of the party”.
The organizers of the ill fated rally having failed to achieve their aim of calling off the ward congresses, have resorted to intimidation and violence.
“We also call on whoever is linked to this dastardly incident and politicians to search their conscience and that politics should not be seen as a do or die affair. It is important that we engage ourselves with respect and regard for the growth and development of our dear State even as we strive to place the interest of Rivers State beyond parochial, egocentric, jingoist and wishy-washy interest.” The statement said
The PDP however, wishes to restate that no amount of intimidation, attacks and blackmail would discourage the Party from doing what is just, fair and equitable, by allowing all eminently qualified and interested members of the Party to contest all levels of elections on the platform of the Party, irrespective of ethnicity.
The PDP also enjoins everybody to come to the primaries to test their popularity and desist from violent actions and uncomplimentary remarks against the Party.
Bro Felix Obuah, chairman PDP Rivers State allay fears over the conduct of the Local Government congresses billed for today Saturday November 1, 2014, assuring party faithful that the ward congresses would hold in all wards in Rivers State as scheduled.
Meanwhile, the Party expresses sincere appreciation to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Dan Bature, who has promptly visited the PDP State Party Secretariat to assess the level of destruction on the building.
During the visit, the CP, who was received on arrival by the State Secretary of the Party, Prince Ibibia Walter, assured 24 hours security at the Party Secretariat.
PDP Secretariat sets ablaze by arsonists
The police averted a fire disaster, in the early hours of Friday, as suspected arsonists set the Rivers State secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Port Harcourt, ablaze.
The arsonists, numbering four, were said to have been seen standing near the two-storey building with one of them holding a jerrycan, at about 4:35a.m.
The incident occurred less than 24-hours after 14 PDP governorship aspirants in the state held a rally, in Port Harcourt, the state capital, protesting the rejection of zoning by the state leadership of the party.
Some members of the party, including the 14 governorship aspirants, had been calling for the removal of the Felix Obuah-led state executive to pave way for a caretaker committee to conduct the party’s forthcoming primaries.
The night guard watching over the PDP building became suspicious of the arsonists and asked for their mission. He reportedly threatened to shoot them if they refused to leave the area.
The arsonists were said to have ignored the guard’s threat and instead tried to get hold of him and ended up pouring some of the fuel on his legs, while one of them headed to the ground floor entrance of the building and tried to force the gate open.
The guard and other security men seeing the building had been set on fire, raised the alarm which attracted other residents of the area to the scene who helped in preventing the fire from spreading.
Commenting on the incident, the state PDP chairman, Mr Felix Obuah, attributed the fire incident to some desperate politicians who he said “do not want the ward and local government congresses, scheduled for today, to hold.
“They are trying to force the cancellation of the ward and local government congresses schedule for this weekend.
“Let me say that no matter the desperation of that group, our congress must go on as planned,” he said