Policemen fired gunshotsintotheairyesterday at the Secretariat of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as supporters of Sen. Magnus Abe attempted to force their way into the secretariat. Hundredsof thesenator’s supporters had stormed the Secretariat very early yesterday morning, claiming that party members loyal to Transportation Minister Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had hijacked the screening of State Assembly aspirants and ward/state delegates’ selection.
While Amaechi camp is recognised by the party at the national level, and has Chief Emeka Bekee as state party chairman, the camp of Abe is led by Golden Chioma, lawyer and former member of Rivers State House of Assembly. Some party members told reporters that they came to the Secretariat in order to participate in the planned screening but were unable to gain access. They also claimed that the gate was deliberately shut by the Amaechi faction in order to deny them the opportunity to be part of the screening exercise.
But as some of the protesters tried to force open the gates, the policemen inside the party secretariat that had been observing the protesters started to shoot into the air. As gunshots echoed continuously for almost a minute, there was chaos as both the protesters and journalists covering the protest fled the area.