The Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to accusation by the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its stakeholders regarding alleged mandate theft in the just concluded Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
Speaking through its spokesperson, Comrade Ini Ememobong, the State PDP, in a statement themed ‘When Losers Tell Lies,’ said “The entire world, we are sure, was shocked yesterday by the press statement issued by the State Chairman of the broom-wielding party, Ini Okopido and the subsequent press conference hosted by the duo of Obong Nsima Ekere and Chief Godswill Akpabio alleging that they won in 26 local government areas of the state. This is surely the best example of the proverbial living in fool’s paradise.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, we must state that the APC lost in all the local government areas including Essien Udim and Ikot Abasi local Government areas. In Essien Udim, materials in Ekpeyong ward were hijacked by APC agents at the voting units in independence high school, thugs and policemen sympathetic to Senator Akpabio mounted the gates and prevented PDP supporters from gaining access to the venue. The thugs further unleashed unmitigated physical attack on journalists and observers, Demola, the TVC correspondent who was there to cover the elections was severely beaten up and chased away. In Ukana East, the Personal Assistant to Senator Akpabio, Emmanuel Inyangetoh accompanied by over 49 police officers and 60 thugs, went unit to unit packing electoral materials which were taken to independence high school, where thumb printing was recklessly done. As if that was not enough, the INEC office in the LGA was kept under siege by Chief Godswill Akpabio, who physically assaulted the Electoral Officer and threatened the collation officer to do his bidding. He filled the result sheets with his hand and forced the presiding officers to sign. These facts are alive and at the tribunal, we will avail the court. The entire world noted the delay with which it took for Essien Udim to collate and transmit results, all because of Senator Akpabio’s unwholesome interference.”
“In Ikot Abasi local Government Area, APC thugs were on rampage carting away electoral materials and personnel and taking them to Ekere’s residence, where thumb printing was done. Even in Nsima Ekere’s Unit, pictorial evidence abound to show armed soldiers arranging the voting queue to ensure that PDP supporters did not vote. In units 2,6 and other units in ward 7 thugs led by Ernest Ntuk hijacked ballot boxes and electoral personnel, delivering them at the residence of Ekere. In Ikono local Government Area, Edidiong Idiong, who was the Federal Constituency candidate of the APC, went in company of armed policemen and thugs to shoot and hijack ballot boxes and result sheets. Senator Aloysuis Etok took some thugs to his village to harass voters, but met a stiff resistance from the villagers. In Uruan, the duo of Hon. Bassey Etim and Hon. Kufre Etuk unleashed mayhem on anybody opposing their possession of electoral materials. Barr. Raymond Umoiyak is currently hospitalized because of wounds sustained from shooting done by thugs brought by Kufre Etuk. In INI, an APC chieftain, Goddy Udoudo aka Mentor, accompanied by thugs hijacked and destroyed electoral materials. He was arrested with a pistol and taken to the Police headquarters at odoro Ikpe.”
“In Uyo, Prof. Chris Ekong, Perry Ntuk and other APC chieftains disrupted elections, carried away materials or chased away members of other parties from the polling units. In Mbo, Victor Antia is reported to have cruised around the entire Oro nation with soldiers and policemen, hijacking materials. In Etim Ekpo local government area, evidence abounds to the fact Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon and DIG Ekpoudom were in a competition for the best material hijacker and rigger. While Ekpoudom took materials for ward 5, Ekon took materials for wards 9, 10 and 11 to his house in Iwukem, thereby claiming the price. These are just few of the places where APC orchestrated electoral fraud of unimaginable proportions.”
“It can be recalled that the APC was not preparing for elections, they were preparing for Federal might backed rigging, where thugs will be clothed in military uniforms and posted to local government areas to hijack materials and rig for them. As a part of the plan, the APC had printed ballot papers which they gave to Bishop Samuel Akpan to organize the thumb printing session. Bishop Akpan ferried the materials to a location in Calabar, cross River state, where he employed people to do the thumb printing. To clear the issue of card readers, Obong Nsima Ekere held a meeting with RATECHs and paid them 1,000 USD each at a location in D Line Ewet Housing Estate beside Tender Heart schools. At the payment point were Kufre Etuk, Idongesit Ituen and Uyo Nathaniel. On Wednesday night, Obong Nsima Ekere met with Returning and collation officers coordinated by Associate Professor Valerie Solomon of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Uyo.At the meeting, held at the residence of Obong Umana Okon Umana, Nsima Ekere promised to pay all ward collation officers 1 million naira each, while local government collation and returning officers were to collect 3 million naira each. He completely monetized the entire process, thinking in like manner like his boss, who thinks that what money cannot do, more money can do. The news of this uncommon bribery filtered out and may have been the reason why the collation and returning officers were changed. That is the one of the new reasons why Senator Akpabio and Nsima Ekere are angry with Igini for changing collation and returning officers.”
“We had notified the world that Nsima Ekere was in talks with militants in a bid to terrorize the elections. Evidence surfaced days ago in the leaked audio tape where he is heard negotiation with militants to secure their services for the elections. He offered 25m for 20 hilux vehicles, men and tools which were referred to as walking sticks and GP meaning AK 47 riffles and General Purpose Machine Guns. In that conversation, they were heard plotting to bomb the vehicle of the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, in a bid to scare him. Nsima cannot deny that he had this discussion, deep in his heart, he knows the identity of the people he had the conversation with, he knows the calls he made intermittently, he knows the calls he made after and those who came to join that meeting, particularly DIG Ekpoudom and Uyo Nathaniel. He can deny before man, can he also deny to himself and God? Can he deny knowledge of the deployment of thugs from Edo State to our state? Those thugs arrived in their hundreds in more than 52 buses. Their presence in our state was seen and felt. Or can he deny that he did not have a meeting with the leader of the Edo boys, Kabaka at Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort? Senator Akpabio requested for many units of army personnel to be given him and his wishes were granted. What did he need the soldiers for? Oh, to use and conclude elections in three hours? Which election can be done in three hours?”
“The result of this election is a reply by Akwa Ibom people to the senseless boastings of Akpabio, Nsima and co who claimed that God had no business in politics. The people have spoken and loudly too, rejecting the political mortgage that the APC sought to place the state on. The fact that even Nsima Ekere lost in Ikot Abasi should humble the APC and cause them to seek the face of the Lord. The people in Akwa Ibom have announced to the world that they do not need godfathers when they have God the father. Their reply is a testimony that the populace prefer the peace that they are currently enjoying and do not wish to go back to the evil days of political assassinations and oppression.”
“The breath of fresh political air currently blowing through the state is divinely orchestrated and cannot be truncated by the conspiracies of men, no matter how highly placed and connected. Let us therefore remind Chief Akpabio, Obong Ekere and their ilk, that self deceit is the worst form of deceit. They should wake to the sad reality of the massive rejection that the voting populace has served on them. They should adopt the posture of Nebuchadnezzar, who like them derided God and assumed his role in the affairs of men. When humiliated by God, he was sober and broken hearted, before God caused his redemption. These present day Nebuchadnezzars would rather commit suicide, than turn to the Lord for salvation. Let us use this opportunity again, to dedicate this victory won for us by only God Almighty, to the Akwa Ibom people who braved all odds to vote for us and defend the votes to the point of final announcement. Our government will continually work for the benefit of Akwa Ibom people and not few self seeking persons. We reiterate the call for the arrest of Chief Godswill Akpabio and Obong Nsima Ekere for the numerous electoral and criminal offenses committed by them in the course of these elections. The rule of law makes all men equal before the law.”
“Finally, we are grateful to God, whose faithfulness to his promises never weavers. We will continue to trust in Him, conscious that those who put their trust in him do not see shame,” the statement ended.