Joe Effiong, Uyo
Political leaders in Abak federal constituency of Akwa Ibom State have raised an alarm on the stockpiling of arms and ammunition for use in the coming elections by some past and national and state assembly members of the area.
Addressing the press on the matter on Tuesday, the National Legal Adviser of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Emmanuel Enoidem, said they were forced to alert the security agencies, the Federal government, Akwa Ibom State government and the international community on the evil plans and plots to make the Abak federal constituency a bloodstream before, during and after the elections.
Enoidem listed many political heavyweights from Abak and Ikot Ekpene federal constituencies who are in the plot, and whose only aim is to rig the presidential and National Assembly election for APC.
He also mentioned an APC leader in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district said to be financing the plot by working with known cultists, earlier banned from the area.
“It has been also brought to our notice that in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area – the road leading from Utu Etim Ekpo to Ikot Osukpong in Ika, particularly, at the Utu Etim Ekpo – Etok Uruk Eshiet Valley, a national assembly member (name withheld) is using same as custody for his arms and armed thugs with the plan of striking the headquarters of Etim Ekpo and the INEC office which is about 700 meters from the hideout.
“In view of these wicked machinations, threats and intimidations, the leadership and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have remained calm, law-abiding and resolute in pursuit of clean electoral activities as we are certain that the people of the federal constituency are massively in our support.
But the headquarters of 6 Division of the Nigerian army has vowed to deal decisively with any political thug found in its area of responsibility.
In a press release signed by Col Aminu Ilisayu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, the army said credible intelligence available to it has uncovered an unholy plan by some political actors within its area of responsibility (AOR) to arm and sponsor miscreants in addition to using military-like fatigue dress for deception to cause pandemonium at polling stations for their political gain.
“While covert efforts are on-going to track the source of the weapons and the agents involved in conjunction with sister security agencies, authorities of 6 Division NA wish to unequivocally state that anyone found to be disrupting the electoral process under any guise will be decisively dealt with in accordance with the laws no matter how highly placed he or she is,” the army said.
The state chairman of APC, Mr Ini Okopido who ironically is from Abak federal constituency, has persistently denied the allegation of his party plotting, thuggery, and election violence. “You know we are concentrating all our effort in mobilising Akwa Ibom people to vote for APC. Nobody is thinking of evil. If they are planning evil, it will go with them because nobody in APC is thinking along that line.
“They have been going about destroying our billboards and doing all sorts of thing. All we are interested in is we want to take over power. Of course, they know we are mobilising towards that. If PDP is planning that kind of thing that is their business,” Okopido said.