Three injured as explosion rocks APC rally
Three persons were injured after an explosion went off at an All Progressives Congress (APC) rally at the Rumuwoji Playground in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on Thursday.
The injured persons were immediately rushed to the hospital where they received treatment.
An eyewitness who identified himself as Isaac said, “We were at the Ojukwu field, Rumuwoji community waiting for the governorship candidate of the APC to address the people, when unknown person threw a ‘bottle bomb’ in the middle of the field.
“The bottle bomb exploded, which made many people at the venue ran for their safety believing it was a dynamite. One of the APC supporters ran with me to my shop and immediately removed his T-shirt in fear of being lynched by the suspected thugs. A woman sustained wound because pieces of the bottle from device injured her on the leg.”
According to Darlington Nwauju, the APC publicity secretary in Rivers, the cause of the explosion could not be ascertained at the time of this report.
He described the incident as unfortunate and assured that the party will ensure that justice is done.
“It is another black day in the annals of democracy where all sorts of underhand strategies are being deployed to frustrate opposition political parties in Rivers State.
“The National Security Adviser, General Monguno and IGP Usman Alkali must zero in on Rivers State and stamp out politically sponsored violence. No single opposition politician is safe. We have also intercepted credible intelligence of plans to attack key opposition politicians in Rivers state,” he said.
The explosion did not stop APC from continuing the rally and that party governorship candidate in Rivers, Tonye Cole vowed to soldier on.
Speaking to supporters after the blast, Cole noted that, “This election is not about party again, it is about your popularity, who can make difference and save the people from sufferings and hardship. Not to shoot gun to scare the people away.
“We are not afraid of election, we are not afraid of violence, we are not afraid of guns. It is not the first time they are shooting at me: they shot at old Bakana and ran away, they shot today, ran away and we started and finished our programme.
“We were there in Etche, they said it will not happen, Etche was a crowd. We were in Ikwerre yesterday, the crowd was bigger, it shocked them. They said they will stop Port Harcourt rally. They will not stop us, tomorrow we will continue, our people will come out. APC is on ground”, Cole added.
He added that, “The serving council chairman has been trying everything to prevent the rally from holding since 4am and we had series of meetings with the police over reports of threats to attack us today.
“We refused to be intimidated and insisted we will continue the rally. While introductions were going on, they threw a stick of dynamite followed by a round of gunshots.
“We were very proactive and prevented our people from panicking. This prevented a stampede and the rally wasn’t interrupted at all but rather galvanised our support base,” he said.