The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tonye Cole, and the Chairman of the party, Chief Emeka Beke, have been reportedly beaten up by suspected political thugs in Port Harcourt.
Supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the APC had on Monday clashed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State chapter.
Cole said he and some leaders of his party were at the INEC office to obtain documents used for the election to file a petition to challenge the declaration of the PDP candidate, Siminialayi Fubara, as the winner of the election but were attacked by thugs allegedly sent by the PDP.
Speaking with Channels Television in Port Harcourt, Cole said he was assaulted by thugs whom he said pelted him with water, food and stones until he got injured.
He said, “We are supposed to be in a democracy and one of the tenets of democracy is that after an election, INEC being supposedly an impartial umpire will have documents and these documents are available to everybody who participated in the election. These are critical documents which when we take to an electoral tribunal, we will build our case upon that to the electoral tribunal.
“On Friday, we were at INEC, and we asked for these documents, but they have not given us a single one. We said we were coming back today (Monday) and because we said we are coming back today, the PDP organised thugs everywhere to prevent us from getting to the INEC office.
“I wasn’t deterred and so I went with my party chairman, the women leader, the youth leader, and senior officials of the APC to the INEC office.
“They had barricaded the road from GRA Junction, everywhere boys, girls. They began to assault me, I came out and a woman began to drag my shirt, they pulled me from the back, first, they were throwing water then they began to throw food and the next minute they started throwing stones.
“The next thing after that, we started hearing gunshots, it took my security people to forcefully evict me. They destroyed our vehicles, they injured me. They slapped me, they punched me, they pulled my shirt, they dragged me and then threw stones at me until I was injured in the back,” Cole narrated.