The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers and its candidates on Monday pledged to be peaceful before, during and after the pending legislative re-run elections in the state.
Mr Honourable Asita, a chieftain of the party and its deputy governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections in the state, made the pledge at the party’s rally at Isiokpo, Ikwerre Local Government Area.
Asita said the APC would remain peaceful in all its activities to ensure that political opponents did have room to cause violence.
He said APC’s legacies were visible in all towns and villages across the state, and assured supporters that the party would win elections under a peaceful atmosphere.
In his remarks, Sen. Magnus Abe, APC candidate for Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the election, said that his party had never taken to violence in spite of the injustice against it by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).
Abe said that Rivers people were not given the opportunity to vote in 2015 and March 2016, general and legislative rerun elections, respectively.
“We have not voted in Rivers; what we saw is machete, bottles and guns, driving eligible voters away.
“It is real vote that will define the political affiliation of the state and not with gun and knife,” he said.
Abe called on the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the recruitment of youth by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as polling unit security guards.
“This is criminal, they are recruiting cultists to cause violence; it is the responsibility of police to secure polling units and not thugs,” he said.
Addressing supporters, Deputy National Secretary of APC, Mr Oji Ngofa, said that governance had failed in Rivers.
“The state has drifted downward and security situation had worsened but as a party, we will remain committed to peace in the state,” he said.
Ngofa urged the party’s leaders and followers in the state to remain united “because a house divided against itself cannot win election’’.
Mr Chidi Wihioka and Mr Azubuike Wanjoku, candidates for Ikwerre/Emouha Federal Constituency and Ikwerre Constituency in the House of Assembly, respectively, in their speeches, promised to maintain peace.
Wanjoku, however, said that voters would defend their vote by ensuring that INEC counted the ballots in their presence.