Soldiers invade country home, hotel owned by Ateke Tom

Soldiers invade country home, hotel owned by Ateke Tom

Soldiers from 6 Division, Nigerian Army on Thursday invaded the country home of  belonging to former agitator and Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom in Ok

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Soldiers from 6 Division, Nigerian Army on Thursday invaded the country home of  belonging to former agitator and Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, King Ateke Tom. The soldiers stormed the estate at Okochiri Community in Okrika where Ateke Tom accommodated his guests at about 4pm, shooting sporadically and searching the rooms in the estate. At the end of the search, unconfirmed reports said one person was killed, while scores of people were arrested and taken away by the soldiers. One dog was also said to have been shot dead by the soldiers.

The army also stormed a popular hotel, Bougainvillea Hotels in GRA II, Port Harcourt at about 4pm Thursday where some chieftains of the PDP were having a meeting. The soldiers were said to have invaded the hotel in a commando style; scattering everything in sight, breaking doors and seized the phones, ostensibly to stop people from recording the scene. A source said the soldiers were looking for chieftains of the PDP from the Rivers West Senatorial District who were having a strategy meeting in preparation for Saturday’s governorship and state assembly elections.

Ateke is believed to be a strong supporter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state since the days of former President Goodluck Jonathan. One of the trapped chieftains was said to have sent an SOS to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who quickly went to the scene. However, before the governor got to the scene at about 5pm, the soldiers had left the hotel but were still in the vicinity.

Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, confirmed the incident at Bougainvillea Hotels. He however said it was not clear if the soldiers went away with any of the PDP stalwarts. The state government had earlier raised the alarm that the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, and 6 Division, Nigerian Army had planned the mass arrest of innocent Nigerians and prominent PDP members in the state ahead of the elections to precipitate crisis and cause the INEC to postpone the elections in Rivers State. Failing this, the Minister will use the vacuum created by the absence of arrested leaders and rig the governorship election and force a candidate of his choice against the will of the people.”

He said the arrest of the State Commissioner for Education, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, and his family members by soldiers Wednesday evening in Port Harcourt confirmed the fears.