Election campaign: Rivers executive orders set tone for violence, says Tonye Cole

Tonye Cole, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers, has alleged that the executive orders by Nyesom Wike “set the tone for violence” in the state.


Cole spoke on Friday during an interview with Channels Television.


In November 2022, Wike, governor of Rivers, approved executive orders restricting the use of public buildings and residential areas for political activities.


The Rivers governor warned political parties against flouting the state’s laws, saying places such as public schools are not to be used for rallies without approval.


On Thursday, Darlington Nwauju, Rivers APC spokesperson, alleged that there was an explosion during the party’s governorship rally at Ojukwu field, Rumuwoji community in Port Harcourt, the state capital.


But Grace Iringe-Koko, Rivers police spokesperson, countered Nwauju, saying no explosion occurred — and that the incident was a clash between the community members and party supporters.


Speaking during the interview, Cole insisted that there was an explosion at the rally venue, adding that it was designed to stop the APC from conducting its campaign in the state.


 “This is just a build-up. It started a while ago with some executive orders that basically began to set the tone for the kind of violence we are seeing,” he said.


“Right from 4am, after we had put up the podium and all of that, we started getting resistance from the mayor of Port Harcourt and a couple of people, who wanted to stop the rally.


“We met with the police. There were threats of violence that could occur. We refused to stop. They asked us to go elsewhere.


“Basically, the explosion was an attempt to stop us from holding the rally. I was surprised to get a report from the police that there was no explosion.”

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