Ahead of Saturday’s legislative rerun in Rivers State, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has urged members of his party to retaliate whatever action they get from loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Odigie-Oyegun, who spoke at the mega rally of the APC at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt on Thursday, described the rerun as “the beginning of a rescue mission” and encouraged the people not to be intimidated.
He said, “I am glad with what I am hearing here today; very glad. If they push you, push them back. If they slap you, slap them back.”
He expressed his satisfaction with the turnout at the rally, and urged the people to head to the polling units in droves on Saturday.
Odigie-Oyegun said,“I am very pleased with the turnout here today. It shows you are truly ready. As you can see, we came in force. The whole federal might is here. You have the governors of this nation here today.”
He added, “We are sending one message, and that message is clear. It is that we respect you the people of Rivers State. We respect the courage of our members in this state. We want to let you know that we have heard your cry; we have seen your anguish; enough is enough. This is the beginning of a rescue mission.
Also speaking at the rally, the Minister of Transportation and the APC leader in the state, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said the poll would be an election of their (APC) lives.
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Amaechi, who is a former governor of the state, called on the APC supporters not to be afraid but to ensure that their votes were protected.
He stressed that he would not entertain any excuse on result sheet snatching and advised party faithful in the state to retrieve any election materials taken away during the exercise.
He said, “This is what is called election of our lives. You know I have never spoken like this before. Do not kill anybody; but, don’t allow yourself to be killed. We also have to protect ourselves.
“I don’t want to hear that they snatched the result sheet from you. If they snatch it, collect it back from them. My phone will be switched off. Nobody should call me. The only time you will call me is from 6pm when you have won the election.”
No fewer than 12 APC governors, National Assembly members and other public office-holders attended the rally.
The Chairman of the APC Election Campaign Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Ganduje, urged the APC supporters in the state to take cover whenever they were shot at.
The Kano State Governor urged the APC supporters in the state not to hesitate to shoot back at their attackers during the election.
But the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, disagreed with Ganduje over his comments on the election.
Wike, who spoke through his Commissioner for Information, Dr. Austin Tam-George, said Ganduje’s call on the APC supporters to take cover and shoot was a way of inciting violence in the state.
“This is a shameful and egregious invitation to violence by the Kano State Governor,” Wike said.