Following a petition written to the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, by the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), alleging that the gunmen who fired bullets into the Uyo home of the APC’s governorship candidate, Nsima Ekere, were sponsored by the state government, among other allegations, the state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has elected to lead his team of campaign coordinators to Abuja to honour the IG’s invitation.
According to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh, “Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel has elected to lead his team of Campaign Coordinators to the Inspector General of Police who summoned them and accused them of various misdemeanours based on a petition by the All Progressive Congress (APC) Chairman in the State, Ini Okopido sent to President Muhammadu Buhari that he quickly minuted to his Chief of Staff who, in line with orders, minuted to IG for immediate investigation.
The statement has it that “the issue here borders on destruction of Buhari’s Presidential campaign billboards in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, a charge PDP and the Environment Commissioner have denied and clarified. The general plank for the invitation, according to the police, openly revolved around instigation to cause violence.”
Udoh noted that “all the persons invited by the Inspector General of Police curiously are the key officers of Udom Emmanuel Divine Mandate Organisation, the vehicle for Udom’s re-election.
“Those invited to appear are the Chairperson of Divine Mandate, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, a retired Nigerian Air Force personnel and former head of the Presidential Air Fleet and former Military Administrator of Akwa Ibom State. Also invited by the IG for questioning is the PDP Chairman in the State, Paul Ekpo; the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke; the Commissioner for Environment, Iniobong Essien; the Senior Special Assistant on Security, Fubara Duke; the Chairman of Uyo Local Government Council and the Chairman of the Uyo Market Association.
“A security agency established by law has invited us so we have to honour. We obey laws here. It started with the billboard issue and the IG sent a team from Abuja that investigated and even detained the Commissioner for Environment for no just cause.
Is this their concept to intimidate and take over Akwa Ibom State that they have been orchestrating and boasting about? Acceptability is at the polls. Let’s go there. We are ready.”
“The APC conducted their governorship primaries in this State and three persons were killed, no petitions, no investigations, no arrest, no prosecution. As a fallout from the primaries, a police station was burnt in Okobo Local Government Area, and other sundry but weighty infractions, yet the police looked at the left and ignored the incidences at the right even with photo evidence and outcries”, he said.
But in a swift reaction, the state APC admitted writing the petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the petition became necessary following attacks on the home of Ekere and the attempts on the lives of some APC members.
According to Etim, a member of the media team of the APC, “bullets were fired into Nsima Ekere’s bedroom (and) Udom Emmanuel and PDP have been destroying Ekere’s campaign billboards. Some of our members, notably Mrs. Utitofon Okon and Mr. Mfon have been shot. Attempts were made on their lives.
“Based on all these acts of violence and intimidation, the party wrote a petition to the President. The petition was signed by the state Chairman, Mr. Ini Okopido. The police are investigating our petition.
“We simply requested the President to come to our help. In 2015, 30 of our supporters were killed on Election Day alone by thugs hired by the PDP. Those thugs are still being used till today. We don’t want our people to be killed again.”