Editorial: 2019 elections in Rivers State and the call for an issue-based campaigns.

The Wednesday, November 14 shooting of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, faithful at Ipo in Ikwerre Local Government Area is condemnable in its entirety.

Members of the party had gone to the area to sensitize residents on the need to obtain their Permanent Voters’ Card, PVC when yet to be identified gunmen opened fire on the team leading to the death of at least two persons while scores were left with severe injuries.

Subsequently, a campaign team of the All Progressive Congress, APC, was attacked in Bakana. Although no casualties were recorded, the shooting left the party faithful terrified.

On 12th November, Samuel Wanjoku, the younger brother of Chibuike Wanjoku, member representing Ikwerre constituency in the state house of Assembly was kidnapped while returning from a political function. His decomposing body was recovered two weeks after in a forest.

These events might just be the tip of the iceberg to what might come as the state enters into full campaign season for the 2019 general elections.

The past weeks have seen the state capital painted red. Over eight persons were killed in Diobu in a cult supremacy battle. Another two were beheaded in Choba while four persons were equally killed in Aluu on Friday under the same circumstances.

These killings are not necessary and we are calling on politicians to treat these upcoming elections same as a game of soccer where winners and losers shake hands and embrace.

Rivers state cannot continue to be known as a centre of electoral violence and other sundry ills occasioned by the quest by a few to grab political powers. That is why we at Theportcitynews are calling for an issue-based campaign where candidates will sell their manifestos to the electorates who then decide which is achievable and make their choices.

The era when violence is the bane of electoral contest in the state should be left behind. The aftermath of the August 18 PHALGA constituency III bye-election should teach us all a lesson.

Theportcitynews also calls on security agencies to up their ante and ensure that venues for political rallies are properly safeguarded.

Theportcitynews also calls on the security agencies to eschew every atom of partisanship in the discharge of their duties. Their loyalty is to the state and its citizens and not the political parties in power.

The electorates should also abide by the above-stated principles and not allow themselves to be used by power-hungry politicians to perpetrate violence.

May Rivers State succeed and may the best win.

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