Anti-Collation Protest Turns Violent
A protest organized by a civil society group – The Coalition For Civil Society Groups in Rivers State in conjunction with The Niger Delta Coalition for President Buhari against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the resumption of collation of result of the March 9, Governorship and State Assembly elections in defiance of the recent ban on protest by the Rivers State government turned violent in Port Harcourt.
The protest which started peacefully from the Air Force junction along Aba Road turned violent around the Birabi Street/Presidential Road Roundabout area when rival group attacked the protesters resulting in throwing stones and bottles at each other. Gun shots rent the air as the protesters took to their heels, in various directions.
Earlier, Chief Annas Sara-Igbe, the convener of the protest told reporters that the protest was organised to express their objections to the resumption of collation of results of the suspended Governorship and State Assembly elections held on March 9, by the state INEC.
According to the elder Sara-Igbe, INEC has not been truthful in its conduct of the elections, stressing that the 17 local government results which the electoral body purported to be ready was a fraud.
He expressed dismay that the riverine people had long been denied the political control of the state, adding that it was the turn of the riverine people represented by Mr. Biokpomabo Awara whom he alleged was leading in the election to rule the state.
Somina Wokoma representing the Rivers NGOs the protest was aimed at closing down Port Harcourt and called on INEC to stop the collation and hold fresh elections in the state.
He alleged that the fact-finding panel set up by INEC on the elections, was a charade and a rape on democracy and also called for the redeployment of the State INEC Commissioner and all others responsible for the electoral compromise in the state.
The Vortex reporter who monitored the protest reports that a journalist, working with Love FM Radio Station and others participating in the protest sustained injuries from the attack, while policemen shot into the air to scare the groups in order to forestall the breakdown of law and order in the state.