Police Seal Off ‘New’ PDP Secretariat In Rivers
Men of the Rivers State Police Command on Thursday sealed off the secretariat of the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led new PDP in Port Harcourt, the state capital. The action of the police came barely 30 minutes after it was officially opened.
The one-storey structure, which was officially opened by the chief of staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Hon. Tony Okocha, is located opposite the Old GRA Police Station, along Forces Avenue in the Old GRA of the state capital.
It was observed that Okocha and officials of the Godspower Ake-led faction of the PDP in the state had hardly concluded the hoisting of the ruling party’s flag in front of the building when plain-clothed policemen, led by the deputy commissioner of police in charge of the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Mr Sam Ogaora, forced themselves into the building and ordered that the exercise be stopped.
After a heated argument with Okocha on the legality or otherwise of opening a parallel party secretariat in the state, Ogaora ordered the plain-clothed policemen, who were later joined by uniformed security operatives from the Old GRA police station, to pull down the poles and the flag.
He also ordered the policemen to chase out everyone, including party officials, aides to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and journalists, who had gone to cover the ceremony, from the vicinity.
The SCID boss thereafter called for a re-enforcement of over 10 patrol vehicles from the state police headquarters to enable the police take full control of the complex, which once served as the campaign headquarters of Amaechi in 2011.
Journalists, who made efforts to capture the action of the policemen, were manhandled; the camera of a photo-journalist with the Sun Newspapers, Mr Obed Mpiegbulem, was destroyed by one of the plain-clothed policemen.
Justifying his action, Ogaora told journalists that the opening of the parallel secretariat of the PDP in the state was illegal, pointing out that the police would not fold their hands and allow some persons to contravene law and order in the state.
He said, “What we have done here is to stop any illegality. We will go all out to stop any illegality; anybody that contravenes law and order will be dealt with. We don’t have any PDP secretariat here.”
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