The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress John Odigie-Oyegun has encouraged supporters of his party to fight back if they are attacked by faithful of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Odigie-Oyegun charged the party supporters to be strong in the face of intimidation, while speaking at the mega rally of the APC at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt.
He described the rerun as “the beginning of a rescue mission,” urging supporters to retaliate whatever action they get from their PDP counterparts.
“I am glad with what I am hearing here today, very glad. If they push you, push them back. If they slap you, slap them back.”
“I am very pleased with the turnout here today. It shows you are truly ready. As you can see, we came in force.
”The whole federal might is here. You have the governors of this nation here today.”
Odigie-Oyegun, who said the APC had listened to the cry of Rivers, urged them to vote in APC as the party, according to him, was on a rescue mission.
“We are sending one message, and that message is clear. It is that we respect you the people of Rivers State.
”We respect the courage of our members in this state. We want to let you know that we have heard your cry; we have seen your anguish; enough is enough. This is the beginning of a rescue mission.”
On his part, the Minister of Transportation and the APC leader in the state Rotimi Amaechi said the poll would be an election of their (APC) lives.
Amaechi, who is a former governor of the state, called on the APC supporters not to be afraid but to ensure that their votes were protected.
“This is what is called election of our lives. You know I have never spoken like this before. Do not kill anybody; but, don’t allow yourself to be killed. We also have to protect ourselves.
“I don’t want to hear that they snatched the result sheet from you. If they snatch it, collect it back from them. My phone will be switched off. Nobody should call me. The only time you will call me is from 6pm when you have won the election.”
No fewer than 12 APC governors, National Assembly members and other public office-holders attended the rally.
Governor Wike responds
Meanwhile, River state Governor Nyesom Wike has described APC’s call on their supporters to retaliate any attack on them as shameful.
The governor said the encouragement of supporters to take cover and shoot was a way of inciting violence in Rivers state. He spoke through his Commissioner for Information, Austin Tam-George.
“This is a shameful and egregious invitation to violence by the Kano State Governor,” Wike said.