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AKWA IBOM: Gov's In- Law, Councilor Shot, Journalist Beaten To Coma

  • Written by  Paulinus Nta, Uyo
  • No comment
AKWA IBOM: Gov's In- Law, Councilor Shot, Journalist Beaten To Coma

Contrary to reports that the just concluded presidential election was free, fair and peaceful, our correspondent who monitored the exercise in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, observed that the election was marred by intimidation of the electorate.

As early as 6:00 am, major streets and junctions were barricaded by heavily armed joint forces of the military and mobile policemen, particularly the Oron road traffic light by Edet Akpan and Nsikak Eduok junctions.

Expectedly, Vehicular and human movements were restricted and many voters complained that they were intimidated from locating and accessing their poling units.

By 6:30 am, a distressed call alleged that sensitive electoral materials for seven wards in Essien Udim Local Government [ Senator  Godswill Akpabio's home], were hijacked by thugs.

In Ikot Ekpene Local Government, particularly wards two and one, accreditation of voters and actual voting began before 9am. In separate interviews with our correspondent, immediate past commissioner of Works, Mr. Don Etim and the Local Government chairman for Ikot Ekpene, Unyime Etim, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and agreed that the election was free and fair.

Barely 30 minutes after the commendation of INEC for the peaceful conduct of the election, a group of thugs descended heavily on Henry Nkom, editor of the Censor Newspaper for attempting to take photograph of the Local Government chairman, Unyime Etim, while he was casting his vote.

He was beaten to coma and later rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.

Udom's Security adviser arrested

It was equally gathered that the security adviser to the governor, Captain Iniobong Ekong, rtd, was arrested in the early hours of Saturday, shortly before the commencement of the election. Reasons for his arrest were sketchy as at press time.

From Midim clan in Abak local Government, it was gathered that thugs stormed the area and opened fire sporadically into the air, and carted away the election materials around 10 am.

Another Aide beaten, Councillor shot

In Uyo, the state capital, there were reports that a special adviser to the Governor on project monitoring, Ekpedeme Gold, was also beaten to stupor for attempting to influence the electorates in favour of his party in ward four. Still in Uyo, ward  8 and 9 in Ikono Uyo, a notorious thug rained down bullets into the ballot box after the announcement of the results, chased the crowd away and carted away sensitive materials. At press time, he was still at large.

From Ikot Abasi axis, reports came in that the election materials , hijacked by thugs, suspected to be PDP supporters were intercepted and recovered in Ikot Abasi while the ones snatched in Akpabiom in Ikpa Nnung Assang, were recovered in Essene, while the suspects were apprehended by security operatives.

From the Oron axis, it was reported that a serving councillor from Udung Uko was shot in the leg for daring the security operative and attempting to influence the voting process in favour of his party.

A day before the election, immediate younger brother of the governor's wife, Samuel Idiong was reportedly shot in the leg along Uyo village road by unknown gun men.

Efforts to reach the police public relations officer,  DSP Odiko Macdon was unsuccessful.

Violence in Ibiono

There were reported cases of violence in Ididep community in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State.

In Ididep Usuk, ward 1, Unit 5 in Ibiono Ibom local government area of the state, accreditation and voting had commenced when we visited the centre around 11:48 a.m.

Ita-Enang, Senator Albert Quarrel

However, speaking at the centre, Senator Bassey Albert, representing Uyo senatorial district, alleged that even though the election was relatively peaceful, Mr. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly matters (Senate), had hijacked materials in unit 12, ward 2, his polling booth.

But Enang, while speaking with the media in his country home, Ididep, dismissed the allegation as untrue and unfounded.

He, instead, accused Albert of sponsoring an attack against him and his supporters, an incident that even led to the destruction of his car.

“My jeep and bus were attacked and vandalised by PDP agents and thugs but the security agencies were not there to rescue us. It was later that the security agencies arrived the scene. There was so much violence. In Edem Udua, ward 9, people were accredited but were told to go. Materials were hijacked too,” he said.

Uncertainty Over Akpabio's fat

The fate of Senator Godswill Akpabio remains uncertain as at Monday, as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended the announcement of results in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District.

Akpabio of  the All Progressives Congress, APC  contested for re-election with Dr. Chris Ekpenyong, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Ekpenyong was leading in the results announced so far, before the commission took a decision to suspend further announcement. He got 123,000 while Akpabio trailed with 69,000 votes.

A source said if the results of Essien Udim were added, Akpabio would coast to victory.

“We are having some issues with the election in Essien Udim local government area,” said the official who did not want his name mentioned in this report because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.

“If we accept the results from the local government area, Akpabio's votes will overshoot that of Chris Ekpenyong.

“There are issues in the results which we are yet to be resolved,” the INEC official said. The key contenders were yet to speak on the development as at Monday morning.

But Essien Udim, where Mr Akpabio comes from, is said to be one of the local government areas with a large voter's population in the state.

The senator in a result released on Saturday by INEC in his own polling unit, Ukana West Ward 2, unit 9 held at the Independence High School, Ukana, scored 1,533 votes, while Mr Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of the state, scored four votes.

APC Kicks

Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called for the cancellation of the results so far announced.

In a press release issued on Sunday and signed by Ini Okopido, the state APC chairman and the state secretary, Augustine Ekanem said “having reviewed all the field reports from its unit agents who participated in the Presidential and National Assembly elections of 23 February 2019, hereby states “That the elections purported to have been held in the state on the aforementioned date should be cancelled outright.

The release said “failure to, in particular, to deliver election materials to designated RAC Centres as announced by INEC to all political parties in a briefing by the resident electoral commissioner a few days to the elections, thereby misleading party members to wait in vain in those designated centres while the state REC in collusion with his Electoral Officers and the PDP delivered the said election materials illegally to the homes of PDP leaders for illegal thumb printing of the ballots

“Failure of INEC in Akwa Ibom State to comply with the requirements of the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended) for the conduct of elections which specifies the use of the card reader for the accreditation of voters, a requirement that was blatantly disregarded.

“That in light of the above, we hereby state that the said elections were not conducted according to law in the state.”

It, therefore, called for the cancellation of what it “the purported elections” and a new date set for fresh Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.

after the announcement of the results, chased the crowd away and carted away sensitive materials. At press time, he was still at large.

From Ikot Abasi axis, reports came in that the election materials , hijacked by thugs, suspected to be PDP supporters were intercepted and recovered in Ikot Abasi while the ones snatched in Akpabiom in Ikpa Nnung Assang, were recovered in Essene, while the suspects were apprehended by security operatives.

From the Oron axis, it was reported that a serving councillor from Udung Uko was shot in the leg for daring the security operative and attempting to influence the voting process in favour of his party.

A day before the election, immediate younger brother of the governor's wife, Samuel Idiong was reportedly shot in the leg along Uyo village road by unknown gun men.

Efforts to reach the police public relations officer,  DSP Odiko Macdon was

unsuccessful.

Violence in Ibiono

There were reported cases of violence in Ididep community in Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State.

In Ididep Usuk, ward 1, Unit 5 in Ibiono Ibom local government area of the state, accreditation and voting had commenced when we visited the centre around 11:48 a.m.

Ita-Enang, Senator Albert Quarrel

However, speaking at the centre, Senator Bassey Albert, representing Uyo senatorial district, alleged that even though the election was relatively peaceful, Mr. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly matters (Senate), had hijacked materials in unit 12, ward 2, his polling booth.

But Enang, while speaking with the media in his country home, Ididep, dismissed the allegation as untrue and unfounded.

He, instead, accused

Albert of sponsoring an attack against him and his supporters, an incident that even led to the destruction of his car.

“My jeep and bus were attacked and vandalised by PDP agents and thugs but the security agencies were not there to rescue us. It was later that the security agencies arrived the scene. There was so much violence. In Edem Udua, ward 9, people were accredited but were told to go. Materials were hijacked too,” he said.

Uncertainty Over Akpabio's fat

The fate of Senator Godswill Akpabio remains uncertain as at Monday, as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended the announcement of results in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District.

Akpabio of  the All Progressives Congress, APC  contested for re-election with Dr. Chris Ekpenyong, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Ekpenyong was leading in the results announced so far, before the commission took a decision to suspend further

announcement. He got 123,000 while Akpabio trailed with 69,000 votes.

A source said if the results of Essien Udim were added, Akpabio would coast to victory.

“We are having some issues with the election in Essien Udim local government area,” said the official who did not want his name mentioned in this report because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.

“If we accept the results from the local government area, Akpabio's votes will overshoot that of Chris Ekpenyong.

“There are issues in the results which we are yet to be resolved,” the INEC official said. The key contenders were yet to speak on the development as at Monday morning.

But Essien Udim, where Mr Akpabio comes from, is said to be one of the local government areas with a large voter's population in the state.

The senator in a result released on Saturday by INEC in his own polling unit, Ukana West Ward 2, unit 9 held at the Independence High

School, Ukana, scored 1,533 votes, while Mr Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of the state, scored four votes.

APC Kicks

Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called for the cancellation of the results so far announced.

In a press release issued on Sunday and signed by Ini Okopido, the state APC chairman and the state secretary, Augustine Ekanem said “having reviewed all the field reports from its unit agents who participated in the Presidential and National Assembly elections of 23 February 2019, hereby states “That the elections purported to have been held in the state on the aforementioned date should be cancelled outright.

The release said “failure to, in particular, to deliver election materials to designated RAC Centres as announced by INEC to all political parties in a

few days to the elections, thereby misleading party members to wait in vain in those designated centres while the state REC in collusion with his Electoral Officers and the PDP delivered the said election materials illegally to the homes of PDP leaders for illegal thumb printing of the ballots

“Failure of INEC in Akwa Ibom State to comply with the requirements of the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended) for the conduct of elections which specifies the use of the card reader for the accreditation of voters, a requirement that was blatantly disregarded.

“That in light of the above, we hereby state that the said elections were not conducted according to law in the state.”

It, therefore, called for the cancellation of what it “the purported elections” and a new date set for fresh Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.

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