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Relief International Africa is deeply troubled by the recent escalation of political thuggery in Rivers State, Nigeria, perpetuated by certain political actors. The wanton destruction of property and disruption of peaceful activities, such as the burning of chairs, canopy, and other items intended for a rally scheduled in Etche Local Government Area last week, is utterly unacceptable. This was witnessed before the last election and continued unabated.

We strongly denounce such acts of violence and intimidation, which have no place in a democratic society. The incident, reportedly led by a political appointee of Etche Local Government Council, is a blatant violation of democratic principles and the rule of law.

As an organization committed to promoting peace, stability, and development in Africa, Relief International Africa calls on the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State to swiftly investigate this matter and bring the perpetrators to justice. Those responsible for orchestrating or participating in acts of political thuggery must be held accountable for their actions.
Political differences should be resolved through dialogue, debate, and the electoral process, not through violence or coercion. We urge all political stakeholders in Rivers State to prioritize peace, respect for the rule of law, and the democratic process.

Thus, it is imperative that we call on the citizens of Rivers State to remain vigilant, resist attempts to incite violence, and actively support efforts to build a peaceful and inclusive political environment. Together, we can work towards a future where democracy thrives, and all voices are heard without fear of reprisal.

Relief International Africa is making a crucial plea to the government of Rivers State and the Nigeria Police to prioritize the protection of lives and properties above all else. The persistent state of turmoil caused by political thuggery highlights the imminent risk of a breakdown in law and order within the state. It’s essential for authorities to heed warnings and take proactive measures to address these issues before they escalate further, ensuring the safety and security of all citizens.

Amb Green Isaac
Executive Director,
Relief International Africa.
19th February,2024

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