PDP Blames ACN for Pre-election Violence in Akwa Ibom
23 Jun 2011
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State has laid the blame for the March 22, 2011 carnage in Akwa Ibom State on the doors of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The party attributed the remote cause of the mayhem to the inordinate ambition and desperation of the ACN governorship candidate, Senator John Akpanudoedehe by employing thuggery to pursue his ambition.
The Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uwem Ita Etuk made the assertion in his presentation before the Presidential fact finding committee on pre and post-election violence in Akwa Ibom and other States of the federation sitting in Uyo.
Represented by the State legal adviser of the party, Barrister Dominic Okon, the PDP recounted how thugs engaged by the ACN had unleashed mayhem in the cities of Ikot Ekpene and Uyo leaving in their trail the death of two PDP supporters and setting ablaze private and public property belonging to the party including the President’s campaign office and about 1,000 brand new motor cars and tricycles acquired by the state government to ease public transportation.
Prince Ita Etuk said it was curious that the ACN had claimed that his party was the aggressor but could not present a single evidence of any of their members who was injured or killed in the mayhem nor the property belonging to the ACN or its member which was destroyed in the inferno. On the contrary, the PDP chairman in a moving presentation attached photographs of the bodies of slain youths who were supporters of the party and property belonging to the party and its supporters which were destroyed during the violence.
Corroborating the views of the State PDP Chairman, the Chairman of Ikot Ekpene local government, Pastor Sunny Ibuot debunked the claim that the ACN was prevented from campaigning in Ikot Ekpene as tissue of lies, revealing that he personally approved the use of Ikot Ekpene stadium for the ACN for their campaign before they decided to hold the rally in a Primary School.
Pastor Ibuot said he along with the Divisional Police Officer and the Officer in charge of the State Security Service (SSS) in the area had done all within their powers to ensure that the ACN had a successful rally unknown to them that the party had visited Ikot Ekpene with a pre-meditated agenda to unleash violence on the city and its inhabitants which explained why they went to the purported rally with guns and machetes and which had led to the death of some PDP supporters and vandalisation of property belonging to the PDP and its supporters.
Counsel to the ACN, Barrister Andem Ndem had laboriously tried to persuade the Panel that the pre-election violence in Akwa Ibom State had erupted because the PDP has allegedly prevented other parties from campaigning in Ikot Ekpene, a view which was debunked by many eye-witness accounts which confirmed that the ACN had actually held her rally in the city unmolested until they had decided to attack members of the PDP.
In his closing remarks on the last day of the sitting of the Panel, the Chairman of the sub-committee for Akwa Ibom State, Justice Sampson Uwaifo thanked the people of the state for the massive turn out to contribute their quota towards unraveling the truth of the pre-election violence which had engulfed Akwa Ibom State.
He said the people had demonstrated their resolve for democracy by their participation and promised that the Committee would do all within its power to justify the confidence reposed on her by the people and the government through their recommendation to the government.