By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
Reports from different local government areas of Akwa Ibom State have it that the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was marred by late arrival of materials for the congress.
In many units, members of the party waited patiently for an opportunity to vote for their favourite candidate, though the materials arrived late.
The first batch of materials left the Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo secretariat of the party at about 3:00pm, while the last set of materials left for their destination at 4:30pm.
‘’The materials for the Ukanafun local government area arrived at 4.00pm and we are about to start the process’, a party chief told THISDAY on phone.
The situation was much tensed at the secretariat complex of the party as security operatives including armed mobile policemen, soldiers and personnel of the Directorate of State Security were deployed in large number to beef up security to ensure orderliness.
A number of buses filled with youths who carried APC insignia were noticed around Uyo driving around dangerously, in a manner likely to cause breakdown of public peace.
In the vicinity of the party secretariat, a policeman allegedly shot and killed an APC supporter, who attempted to force himself into the Police vehicle ferrying materials to his local government area. Eye witness account averred that the Sergeant told the deceased to come down from the vehicle which conveyed the materials, but he refused. This prompted the Policeman to pull the trigger and the bullet hit him in the pelvic region.
According to the eyewitness, ‘’the Police vehicle immediately sped off leaving him in his pool of blood and the good Samaritans had to flag down a ‘Keke’ which took him away but he was already dead.’’
‘’The Policeman should have stopped the vehicle and asked him to come down, but he didn’t do that. It is so sad as if life does not have value anymore. How would the family receive such a gloomy news?’’, an eyewitness said.
Police Commissioner, Samuel Ogunjemilusi, visited the scene of the incident even as he also visited other units to assess conduct of the primary.
Police Public Relations Officer, Macdon Ogbechie who arrived the scene of the incident in the company of his boss denied that a Policeman killed the APC supporter, saying ‘’the police never shot anybody there. We are investigating. We will know the true story as time goes on.’’
The Akwa Ibom State APC governorship primary was contested through the direct primary by four candidates including, Obong Nsima Ekere, Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Barrister Dan Abia, former Managing Director of NDDC, Senator Akpan Udoedehe and Engr. Edet Efretuei.
Ekere, a former deputy governor of the state who has pledged to serve for one term of four years is favoured to win the party’s ticket. His candidature has been largely endorsed by prominent personalities and groups, including the party hierarchy in the state led by Otuekong Don Etiebet.