Updated: February 28, 2021
The Rivers State Chapter of All Progressives Congress says its governorship candidate, Tonye Cole, and team, were attacked Thursday, 16 November, 2018 at Bakana in Kalabari land.
A statement signed by the campaign organization of Tonye Cole said it took the security detachment attached to the APC candidate to repel the attackers from advancing to kill Tonye Cole.
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Text of statement reads:
SUSPECTED PDP GUNMEN OPEN FIRE ON TONYE COLE’S CONSULTATION TEAM AT OLD BAKANA
…A serving Commissioner in Wike’s govt from the area fingered
Blood bath was averted today (Friday, November 16, 2018) at Old Bakana as gun men alleged to be sponsored by a PDP serving Commissioner in Nyesom Wike’s government from the area opened heavy gun fire on Pastor Tonye Cole and his team as they were carrying out ward-to-ward consultation in the community.
On arrival at the community and as is usual with the team, Tonye Cole and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on the delegation had gone to pay a courtesy call on the traditional head of the community prior to commencement of the exercise when heavy gunfire erupted from all directions of the community.
Pastor Tonye Cole immediately showed courage and leadership by ordering his team members to remain calm indoors while the security detachment attached to the team were allowed to repel the advancing armed attackers.
It took a while before the marauding gunmen were repelled by the security men and the area secured. Subsequently, Pastor Cole directed that the exercise must go on at the designated arena after which the team departed to Bakana Town to continue with the exercise.
The Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation and APC vehemently condemn the dastardly act of today reminiscent of what was carried out in 2015 against the APC and its governorship candidate in Okrika and other similar incidents carried out by PDP and their gunmen across Rivers State.
We recall that just yesterday, instead of the PDP to tackle its internal crisis that has snowballed into open confrontation between them in Ikwerre Local Government, found it convenient to blame APC members. We alerted the world that the PDP leaders were merely pointing at the APC to cover up their internal turmoil. We also emphasised the fact that it was a ploy to prepare the grounds for them to commence another round of bloody attacks on APC members in the State. In just about 24 hours our fears have manifested.
We would like to reiterate that the governorship candidate of our party, Pastor Tonye Cole, is a God-fearing gentleman whose only driving force to lead Rivers State is hinged on his conviction that every aspect of Rivers society is broken and needs urgent mending. He believes that if our youths are given jobs they will not make themselves available for such criminal enterprise as was exhibited today.
Let us serve notice that forces of darkness behind today’s violence and their allies will never be able to deter, intimidate or stop Pastor Tonye Cole and his supporters from the task of providing the enabling environment to mend and pull our society out of backwardness, poverty and from the abyss of bad governance.
We call on the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Director of State Security Service and other security agencies to thoroughly and diligently investigate the incident of today and all such incidents with a view to bringing to justice those directly and indirectly behind them.
Chief Chidi Lloyd, PhD
DG, Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation