The self-styled leader of the five anti-Amaechi lawmakers of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Evans Bipi, has threatened to drag Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, to court for accusing him of leading Tuesday’s attack on the party’s rally in Okrika.
The lawmaker, therefore, gave Amaechi and Peterside a 24-hour ultimatum to produce evidence to strengthen their allegations or be ready to face legal action.
You may recall that a policeman was killed when unknown gunmen invaded the Okrika National School Field, the campaign ground of the APC, and shot sporadically.
While Peterside was whisked away by his security from the venue of the event, which was also rocked by explosions, many of his supporters were injured.
Speaking afterwards, the governorship candidate said some eyewitnesses had identified Bipi as leader of the gunmen, even as Amaechi pointed fingers at the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who hails from Okrika.
But the lawmaker, in a statement, which he personally signed and issued on Wednesday, explained that contrary to the APC governorship candidate’s claim, he was in Bayelsa State to mourn the loss of some female politicians who died in a motor accident.
According to Bipi, “I was not in Okrika on Tuesday. Okrika is not even my constituency. I represent Ogu/Bolo State Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“How can anybody imagine that I or the First Lady of the nation can resort to violence? I respect Dakuku Peterside, I respect all members of the other political parties because we all have equal stake in the state.
“But I will not allow my reputation or that of the First Lady to be rubbished just because somebody is soliciting votes.
“I have instructed my team of lawyers to handle this matter and Dakuku has to come to the court to prove his claim that he saw me leading a team of angry youths to attack his rally. That is the only way we can prove our innocence or culpability.
“The statement credited to Dakuku Peterside, the governorship flagbearer of APC along with Governor Rotimi Amaechi, accusing me of leading gun men to attack their rally in Okrika is most unfortunate and above all the height of irresponsibility on their part and the APC.
“I challenge Dakuku Peterside, Rotimi Amaechi and the APC to produce the evidence of their spurious allegation against me, the First Lady and the PDP governorship candidate Chief Barr. Nyesom Wike, within the next 24 hours, else I will take up necessary lawful and legal actions against them and their party”.
He, however, warned the APC leadership to refrain from always laying blames on the PDP at every provocation and added that the party’s governorship candidate, Nyesom Wike, was trapped at Obua/Odual when some youths shot sporadically at his campaign train.
“I also remember that a chieftain of the PDP, Prince Timothy Nsirim, was attacked by suspected APC thugs and yet, the PDP did not call for the head of the APC.
“Why should Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Dakuku and APC drag the First Lady into this matter? Amaechi must withdraw his statement that the First Lady was involved in the Okrika attack”.