Explosion hits Rivers state Deputy Governor’s office

Rivers State Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru

Police denied knowledge of the attack

A blast has hit the Rivers State government house, a government spokesperson said.

The explosion occurred near the deputy governor, Tele Ikuru’s office in the early hours of Tuesday. There were no casualties, commissioner of information, Ibim Semenitari, told PREMIUM TIMES.

Ms. Semenitari said the explosion is suspected to have occurred after a dynamite was thrown into the building at about 3 am Tuesday.

Police anti-bomb personnel immediately took control of the situation and retrieved some shrapnel, she said.

However, a police spokesperson in the state denied knowledge of the incident.

Police Public Relations Officer Ahmad Muhammad told PREMIUM TIMES he was not aware of any explosion in the state.

“I’m not aware of it. Yes, I’m not aware of that,” Mr. Muhammad said.

If the attack is proven, it would be a fresh twist in a series of political crises that have rocked the volatile oil producing state for months.

State lawmakers have been divided between those supporting the governor, Chibuike Amaechi, and those backing President Goodluck Jonathan, who is locked in a lingering feud with Mr. Amaechi.

The dispute peaked after the six lawmakers opposed to the governor claimed to have overruled about 25 members to impeach the assembly’ s speaker-a supporter of the governor.

The crisis that followed led to the shutdown of the assembly and a takeover of its legislative functions by the National Assembly. A court last week nullified the National Assembly’s decision.

The six lawmakers, led by Evans Bipi, have offered to work with Mr. Amaechi only if Mr. Bipi is recognized as the speaker.

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