The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State has called for the immediate release of one of its leaders, Baribor Kumanwee, a member of the Bera Council of Chiefs and Elders, who was arrested by the police on Sunday.
In a statement by its Chairman, Dr. Davies Ikanya, on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the party claimed that Kumanwee’s arrest and continued detention was the handiwork of some Peoples’ Democratic Party stalwarts in the state.
Information available to us indicates that Chief Kumanwee was arrested on Sunday, March 29, 2015, after being beaten by a PDP chieftain, Mr. Dumbari Dimkpa, assisted by his brother, Mr. Promise Dimkpa, and their thugs to a state of stupor.
“If not for divine intervention, Kumanwee would have lost his life in the process. His only offence is that he is an ally of Senator Magnus Abe. The innocent man is being tortured in a bid to force him to make a confessional statement to implicate Abe in the recent destruction of property in Bori,” the APC said in the statement.
According to Ikanya, Kumanwee, who is in the custody of the State Security Investigation Bureau, is critically ill and may die if his unjust persecution is not brought to an end.
“We will not fold our arms and allow this innocent man to die like other APC chieftains while being detained for political reasons. Chief Kumanwee’s arrest is aimed at bringing the reputation of Senator Abe and the party into disrepute. We therefore ask for his immediate release,” the statement said.
The APC and PDP have been entangled in a bitter rivalry in Rivers State in recent weeks with both camps accusing the other of intimidation of its members.
Though, the mood in the state appears calm after last weekend’s presidential and National Assembly elections, there are fears that tension could rise again few days to the governorship contest on April 11, where APC’s Dakuku Peterside comes up against PDP’s Nyesom Wike, a former Minister of State for Education.