Police Lift Siege on A’Ibom Assembly as PDP Laments

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

The Police has lifted its siege on the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly which it allegedly sealed off earlier in the week.

This led the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the  state to cry out to Nigerians and the  international community over alleged  attempts by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in collusion with security agencies to make the Akwa Ibom State ungovernable for the 2019 general elections.

The party said yesterday that the strategy was to make it possible for the APC-led federal government to declare a state of emergency in order to pave way for easy manipulations of election results in the state come 2019 elections.

Speaking at a press conference in Uyo, the PDP State Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo also hinted of fresh plot by the APC to use the EFCC to clamp down on the Akwa Ibom State Government accounts.

The uncovered plot, he said was another desperate attempt by the APC to paralyse the activities of the government of Akwa Ibom State.

The party cautioned security operatives to cease forthwith, further intimidation of officials of the State Government and principal officers of the state House of Assembly.

Obong Ekpo warned that the PDP would never succumb to these heinous threats, intimidation and to unleash violence in the state by the APC and federal government to illegally take over control of apparatus of the state.

The party expressed concern that despite being adjudged as the safest state in Nigeria, Akwa Ibom has had a very high turnover of police commissioners.

“We implore the Nigerian Police Force and other Security agencies to remain non-partisan in the discharged of their duties,” Ekpo stressed.

He recalled that on November 19, 2018, the party had received and published intelligence report on the plans by APC to illegally prevent the sitting of the state House of Assembly, using thugs and political miscreants.

On the fateful day which was Monday, he said “as early as 7a.m., buses bearing insignia of the opposition APC in the state led by known chieftains of their political coven appeared at the gate of the Assembly and set up bonfire, preventing human and vehicular traffic and seeking to prevent the lawful business of the state legislature.”

According to the party, it was the intervention of the police that the Speaker of the State House of Assembly led other members into the Chambers and resumed legislative duties.

“At the sitting, the Speaker evoked the provision of section 109(2) which empowers him to declare the seats of those who had infringe upon section 109(1) (g) and accordingly declare their seats vacant.

“This decision by the Speaker to declare the seats which has a precedent in 2014, became the avenue for the APC to commence their long planned desire of unleashing violence and hooliganism on a legal institution of the state as a prelude to making the state ungovernable preparatory to the 2019
election.

“We wish to state that as at the time the APC agents and thugs invaded the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, there was no stay of execution issued by any court of law against the Speaker in respect of Idongesit Ituen’s case.”

“The PDP and indeed Akwa Ibom people are not by any means intimidated by these machinations of the APC-led Federal Government which is intended to help them achieve their selfish aim of illegally and forcefully capturing Akwa Ibom state as we are sure that this will fail.” Ekpo stated.

The party declared that the preliminary machinations by the APC were just schemes to drag the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel on a collision course with President Mohammadu Buhari.

Urging the citizens to note the role of key players of the APC to push the state into an abyss of violence, anarchy and destruction, the party pledged loyalty and support to the state Governor, National Assembly Caucus, State House of Assembly under the leadership of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke for the maturity exhibited in the face of this intimidation.