. Governor Udom Emmanuel
By William EFFIONG
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, on Saturday, raised the alarm over an alleged plot by persons he described as “elements allied with the opposition in the State” to disrupt and cause breakdown of law and order during the forthcoming local government elections scheduled for December 2 in the state.
Although no specific political party was accused of masterminding the plot, but the governor’s outcry may have come in view of the recent campaign flag-off of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, ahead of the council elections, wherein the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleged that a large percentage of the crowd that turn up for the APC rally were rented.
In a press release made available to journalists on Saturday, the governor, through his Chief Press Secretary and Senior Special Assistant on Media, Ekerete Udoh, said: “The Government of Akwa Ibom State has uncovered a plot by elements allied with the opposition in the State to bring in people from other parts of the nation to disrupt and cause the breakdown of law and order during the forthcoming Local Government Council elections in the State.
“The Government of Akwa Ibom State is poised and ready to conduct a free, fair and transparent election in the State, and has created a level playing field for all to participate in the election.
“The cardinal responsibility of Government is to ensure peace and safety of the people to carry out their legitimate functions and the Government of Akwa Ibom State remains dedicated to fulfilling this cardinal responsibility as defined by the principles of the Social Contract.
“Those behind this plan whom Government are well aware of, are advised to seize and desist from this plot”.
He also warned that “any attempt by those individuals to disrupt or cause a break-down of law and order in the State during the election will be dealt with, accordingly”.
At a rally by members of the PDP in Nsit Ubium, Nsit Ibom and Etinan, the three local government areas making up Etinan Federal Constituency, on Tuesday, the PDP Chairman in Akwa Ibom, Paul Ekpo, had assured his party supporters that hired persons by opposition parties will not vote in the forthcoming local council elections.
Ekpo had said, “I’ve been reliably informed that, for lack of human beings, on Saturday (18 November, day APC campaign flag-off held), the 183 luxurious buses that came from Aba, Umuahia, Owerri, Cross River, Ikom, Akamkpa, Obudu, have disappeared. It is one thing to mobilise, but to demobilised is always a problem.
“I want to tell them that when you bring people to Akwa Ibom to come and participate in local elections, how would you mobilise them to go to units, which unit would they go; how would they mobilise them to go to villages, which village would they go; how would they mobilise them to go to wards, which ward would they go?.
“I want to thank security agents who took time to make sure that those people who were abandoned, after they were mobilised to Akwa Ibom, left our state without causing security infractions”.
At the time of filling this report, no political party had responded to the claims by the governor.