By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Hundreds of members of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Thursday besieged the state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) along Aba Road, Port Harcourt, demanding the relisting of the party’s candidates for the elections.
The protesters, who were led by the Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands and APC candidate for Rivers South East Senatorial District, Hon. Oji Ngofa, blocked the traffic on the Port Harcourt-Aba expressway and blocked the entrance to the INEC office refusing anyone from either entering or leaving the office.
They demanded that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Obo Effanga, should address them on the re-listing of candidates of the party as ordered by the Court of Appeal.
The REC later addressed them assuring them that the Commission would meet on their demand and thereafter act on whatever decision arrived at at the meeting. But he was still refused entry into the office forcing him to enter his car and drive off.
After Effanga’s address, APC bigwigs among the protesters left but the youths among them insisted on remaining at the office until the end of the INEC meeting and the names of the candidates were put on the ballot paper.
This made the security agents comprising the army, police and Civil Defence to fire canisters of tear gas into the air, forcing the protesters as well as on-lookers to flee the scene.
The leadership of APC in the state promised to address a press conference later in the day.