Electoral Violence: Arrest Akpabio now, PDP tells Police
The People Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State has urged the Nigerians police force to arrest former Senate Minority leader, Godswill Obot Akpabio immediately for violating sections of the electoral act.
In a press briefing held today at the State Party secretariat, the PDP disclosed an alleged plans by Senator Akpabio to attack and burn INEC offices in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and the headquarters in Uyo.
According to the PDP, the planned attack was to scutled the announcement of result for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district after being overwhelmingly rejected by the people of the Senatorial district.
The PDP also accused Senator Akpabio of violating the provision of Section 27(2)(e) of the Electoral Act by declaring himself winner of an election when INEC had not done so.
Read Full Statement
“We are in receipt of impeccable intelligence indicating a plan to attack and burn INEC offices in ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and the headquarters in Uyo . This plan we learnt is hatched and sponsored by the out-going senator for ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Sen. Godswil Akpabio who is hell bent on frustrating the announcement of the collated result of Essien Udim local government area and the final result of the Senatorial District .
“Before the elections, Senator Akpabio, Obong Nsima Ekere, Ini Okopido and other APC chieftains undertook the regular submission of frivolous petitions against top PDP members to necessitate their arrest by the police. To give fillip to their plan, they facilitated the relocation of AIG Musa Kimo from zone 6 to Uyo, so that immediately any petition from the APC is brought, he will instruct the CP to enforce the arrest of the PDP stalwart accused.
“Last week, scores of PDP faithfuls were arrested and detained for no justifiable reason, even those with valid injunctions from the court were not spared. Captain Iniobong Ekong, Barr. Akan Affia, Godson Uwah and many other strong PDP members were arrested. Many others who were targeted for arrest few hours to the election escaped by God’s grace, people like Senator Bassey Albert, Obong Paul Ekpo, Rt. Hon Onofiok Luke, Engr. Uwem Okoko were on that long list.
“Having seen the resounding rejection served him by his Senatorial District on the Election Day, Senator Akpabio in company of police and military men stormed INEC offices in the federal constituencies of his Senatorial District in an attempt to bribe the Electoral officers to change results in his favour.
“Having failed to succeed in that respect, he detained the Electoral Officer for Essien Udim(His LGA) and commenced the falsification of results. When accosted by foreign observers who sought to monitor the collation, his thugs harassed the observers and chased them away.
“In the last 24hours, Sen. Akpabio has tried different tricks ranging from calling the PDP collation agents and promising them huge financial inducement, offering bribes to Electoral officers, abduction and detention of electoral officials, use of military intervention and many other conceivable means of defeating the will of the people expressed freely cast through the ballot.
“Last night, he held a victory party at his residence in Ukana, Essien Udim, where he declared himself the winner of the elections, against the provision of Section 27(2)(e) of the Electoral Act which provides that the Returning officer shall announce the result and declare the winner at the Senatorial Collation center. It is therefore unlawful and illegal for Senator Akpabio to announce himself as the winner. The truth is that collation of results have been done in 9 out of 10 local government areas areas in ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and three out of four of the House of Representatives seats declared by INEC as having been won by the PDP with a wide margin of more that 60,000 votes. The only LGA left is Essien Idim, which INEC is currently working on.
We are hereby appealing that the security operatives should provide adequate security for all the offices, officers and infrastructure of INEC to prevent agents of the Senator Akpabio from making good their threat of destroying lives and property.
We appeal to INEC to remain firm, resolute and unbending in the discharge of their duties. Illegitimate requests must never be acceded to.
Additionally, we call on the Inspector General of police to immediately arrest Senator Godswill Akpabio for conduct likely to breach public peace and violation of section 27(2)(e) of the electoral act. He should be prosecuted immediately so that upon conviction,the provision of Section 123(4) of the electoral act will be activated.
The Inspector General of Police and the entire security apparatuses of government must engender public confidence about their neutrality and must show that no one is above the law. All institutions of state must depart from partisan tendencies as it is a great threat to the sustainability and growth of our democracy.
Thank you all.
Comrade Ini Ememobong
State Publicity Secretary
Peoples Democratic Party,
Akwa Ibom State