The Atiku Support Organisation has alleged that about 30 of its members were arrested by armed policemen during a meeting in GRA, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Sunday afternoon.
The National Publicity Secretary of ASO, Victor Moses, disclosed this in a statement he personally signed and issued on Sunday.
The statement titled ‘Release our members wow, Atiku Support Organisation tells Gov Wike’ was made available to newsmen.
Moses said the meeting was part of preparations for the the Peoples Democratic Party presidential rally slated to hold on February 11.
He said some of those arrested were state and local government leaders of the organisation, alleging that the officers may have acted on the instructions of the state governor, Nyesom Wike.
The statement partly read, “Earlier today, Sunday, at about 2 pm, armed police officers in about six Toyota Hilux marked Intelligence Unit and acting on the instruction of the Rivers State Governor surrounded plot No 3 popularly called White House in Omerelu Street, by Salvation Ministries Headquarters, G.R.A., Port Harcourt, where state and local government leaders of the Atiku Support Organisation were holding meetings as part of the preparations for the Peoples Democratic Party presidential rally slated to be held on 11th February 2023.
“Realising the armed men were sent to stop the meeting, some members escaped through the fence, sustaining wounds caused by barbed wires.
“Over 30 of our members, state and LGA leaders, most of whom are women, were arrested and taken away in two white Hilux of the intelligence unit, while about four Hilux heavily armed with police have sealed up the meeting venue. The said No 3 Omerelu Street, GRA, is directly behind the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt.”
The statement added that none of the phone numbers of those allegedly arrested was connecting.
The group called on Governor Wike to release its members with immediate effect, adding that Wike must end “his do-or-die politics of bitterness and stop instigating violence in Rivers State against Atiku Abubakar’s supporters.”
The group also called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to order the release of its members and put a end to what it called “political rascality” in Rivers State, and “to avert Governor Wike’s instigated bloodbath in the state during the election,” adding that “Rivers people should and must be allowed to make their political choices freely.”
When contacted, the spokesman for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she had not received such report.
Efforts to reach the state Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong, proved abortive as he did not pick several calls put across to his mobile telephone.
He had yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.