A disturbance reportedly occurred at the All Progressives Congress (APC) rally earlier Thursday at the Rumuwoji playground in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Some explosions were reported during the rally at the Ojukwu Townhall in the Rumuwoji area of Port Harcourt.
The APC spokesman in the state, Darlington Nwauju claimed a bomb explosion rocked the rally and that five people were injured. He gave the names of those injured as Hope Isaac, Paul Oghonemu, Felicia Gogo, Amba Frank, and Gift Angela.
He referred to the incident as another black day in the annals of democracy in Rivers and lamented that underhand strategies were being employed to frustrate the party’s campaigns in the state.
In a swift reaction however, the Rivers State Police Command debunked the claims by the APC. The Command’s spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko acknowledged there was a “fracas” between members of the community over the sharing formula for the money paid to them for renting the playground but she pointed out that it had absolutely nothing to do with the APC or its rally.
The police said the fracas was not between members of the APC and any other political party but between the internal factions within the said community.
“The fracas did not affect the APC rally which ended peacefully. There was no explosion before or during the rally. However the Commissioner of Police has directed the DC State CID and O/C Bomb Disposal Unit to investigate and confirm the veracity of the rumour currently making rounds on social media,” the police said.
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, in a reaction, said, “There should be no place for violence and anti-democratic manifestations in this election.”
“Elections are not a do-or-die affair but an opportunity to reinforce our belief in democracy through our leadership choices via adult suffrage.
“We had complained about the violence that had been visited on our party in some states because we did not want it to become a pattern if those engaged in anti-democratic activities were not brought to book.
“Our worst fears have now manifested with the explosion at the APC rally in Port Harcourt. It stands condemned,” he said.
Atiku called on security agencies to ensure that those behind the act are brought to justice.