It was a frightening sight to behold as soldiers took over polling units in Abi Local Government, intimidating the electorate and preventing a free and fair electoral process.
It was worse in Ekureku village, where the only candidate of the APC that won an election in the state, Dr Alex Egbona comes from
Two weeks ago, during the National Assembly election, Egbona stood tall and was declared winner of the election for the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency.
Apparently to stop him from performing a similar feat during the governorship and house of assembly elections in the area, soldiers who were armed to the teeth, invaded the village and wreaked havoc.
They caused havoc in some of the polling units, causing voters to flee, as they carted away election materials.
Just after Egbona cast his vote at his polling unit, he had barely settled down in his home when soldiers arrived his gate. They claimed they got information that people were thumb-printing in his compound.
Before the security men could get clearance to allow them into the compound, they had forced themselves in and compelled the people they saw there to lead them round the expansive compound for a search.
Curiously, the DPO in charge of Itigidi was sandwiched in between soldiers. The DPO was the only policeman in the search team. They did not show any search warrant before they moved into every room, store, toilet, guest houses, boys quarters and the main building.
They took video shots and pictures of all the places they searched. When they got into Egbona's bedroom, the House of Reps member-elect asked why they invaded his home and they told him they had orders from above to search the compound.
After about an hour in the compound, according to Egbona, they found nothing incriminating, neither did they see the semblance of people thumb-printing anywhere in or around the compound.
By the time they were done, they asked for cold water and drinks, to quench their thirst. “I was shocked at the way the soldiers invaded my compound.” “They forced themselves into my compound, claiming that they had orders from above to search my house.”
“They had a field day, searching every part of the compound. “They were not in a hurry and everybody patiently waited for them to finish.” “When they were done, they told me they had seen nothing. I expected them to apologise to me for invading my privacy. They did not”.
“What they did was an act of intimidation. I will take this up appropriately. We cannot allow this kind of intimidation to continue. This country belongs to all of us and we must do within our powers to protect it, Egbona said in an interview with TNN.
Soldiers shot me for resisting attempt to cart away materials
Mr Daniel Godwin was a victim of gun shots by soldiers at the Ekureku ward 1 polling unit, after he resisted some thugs from carting away election materials.
Daniel said in his hospital bed in Calabar that his crime was that he did not want people to stop the people from casting their votes. According to him, a native of the area had made a call from the polling unit before the arrival of an Army van. He said as the soldiers got there, they started shooting.
Out of fear, the voters took off for dear life. Some were merely injured as they fell down on top of each other in an attempt to escape. But Daniel was not lucky. He said the bullets hit his left leg and he fell down.
According to him, even after he was down, he was shot at again, before they took him into their van and left. The victim was later taken to a hospital for treatment, before he was handed over to the police.
He said on Sunday in Calabar that he was hand-cuffed before a lawyer came to his rescue, after which his relatives took him to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. The doctors were about to begin treatment when TNN visited to talk with him.
Ayade: Victory didn't come easy-Ex-PDP Chair
A cross section of Cross Riverians on Monday hailed the state governor for emerging victorious during Saturday's gubernatorial elections. One of them, Ntufam John Okon, a former chairman of the PDP in the state, said the victory was a confirmation that Cross River was a PDP state.
He said with the victory, it was expected that the governor would complete all the projects initiated in the last four years and then go ahead to start fresh ones. He also said the re-election was a confirmation of the zoning arrangements in the state.
Ayade was declared winner of the March 9 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the early hours of Monday.
According to INEC, Ayade won in all the 18 local government areas of the state with a winning margin of 250,323 votes.
He polled 381,484 votes to defeat Senator John Owan Enoh of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 131,161. Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr Eyo Ekpo got 4, 818 votes.
Announcing the results, INEC returning officer and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Warri, Delta State, Professor Akii Ibhadode, said the PDP candidate having scored the highest number of votes and fulfilled the requirements of the law, was returned elected.
According to him, number of registered voters is 1,486,026, accredited voters 542,115, valid votes 522, 309, rejected votes 11,499 and total votes cast 533,808.
Olory dedicates re-election victory to God, other.
The member representing Akamkpa 1 constituency in the state house of assembly, Mr Mathew Olory has dedicated his re-election victory to God.
He said on Monday: “I dedicate this victory to God Almighty. God I thank you. Who should I thank, who should I not thank? I thank everybody. Let me mention a few, I thank my indefatigable governor, Prof Ben Ayade, Akamkpa 1 State Constituency people, Ntufam Okon Nyong Owuna and family, Rt. Itaya Nyong Asuquo, Ntufam John Okon, my Party, the PDP.
“Let me also thank Rt Hon George Oben, Ankpo pius, Hon Prince Orok , Ntufam Patrick Effiong Pona, Ntufam ignatius Ayamba. I had said everybody before, if I don't mention your name, please forgive.
“Specifically I want to thank those that played anti party and those other party faithful that believed in me. Ntufam Paul oga, thank you for your prayers. Men and women of God that tarried for me, Bishop Joseph Bassey, Rev Usenekong, Rev Unanam, Evang Wisom Assiya, No Shaking campaign organisation. God bless everybody.”