BY Ikora Ayungbe,Uyo
The Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom State chapter has said it is ready to meet the All Progressives Congress at the election tribunal if they are not convinced of their defeat in the last governorship and state assembly elections.
The party which attributed the massive failure of the All Progressives Congress in all the elections conducted by INEC in the state to the failure of the party to prepare for elections. “The All Progressives Congress worked hard to cost the elections. They over relied on federal might without soliciting for votes from the electorates.”
The PDP maintained that while its supporters were busy canvassing for votes and preparing adequately for the election the APC devoted its effort in plotting the use of federal might, hiring of armed thugs and militants to unleash mayhem on the innocent electorates and INEC officials as seen during the elections.
Reacting to the accusation of mandate theft by the leadership of All Progressives Congress during their press briefing in Uyo on Tuesday, the PDP through its state spokes person, Comrade Ini Ememobong in a press statement tagged “When Losers Tell Lies” said PDP is ready to confront the APC with fact and evidences at the Tribunal.
The statement reads in part, “the entire world, we are sure, was shocked yesterday (Tuesday )by the press statement issued by the State Chairman of the APC, Ini Okopido and the subsequent press conference hosted by the duo of Obong Nsima Ekere and Senator 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 school 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 Essien Udim 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”, the party said.