…order immediate release of detained PDP stakeholders
The people of Mkpat Enin local government area have condemned in strong terms what they described as ill-treatment and undue arrest of a PDP Chapter officer, Chief Anietie Isiaenang and seven others by Bernard Udoh, APC candidate for the Ikot Abasi federal constituency seat.
The people, coming under the aegis of “Mkpat Enin Conscience”, described the action of the APC candidate as barbaric and a scheme to reintroduce the area to political war, thuggery and unnecessary tension which the area had long left.
According to a Statement issued and signed by 21 members of the group, “some Policemen from the Akwa Ibom State Police Headquarters led by Rt. Hon. Bernard Udoh invaded Ikot Etefia Ukam and arrested Chief Anietie Peter Isiaenang, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on trumped up charges” on the night of Sunday, February 17.
In the course of the arrest, “the Policemen stopped at Ikot Ediongo Ukam and gunned down two young men, Mr. Promise Uta Emmanson and a friend who were at the reception venue of Mr. Ifiok Ufot Ekpo’s child naming ceremony. One of them is feared dead while the other is still bleeding out of the gunshot injury”.
They related the act to the acclaimed WARSAW, describing it as uncivil, inhuman and unholy; politically motivated and threatening to the peaceful ambience of Mkpat Enin.
The group recalled that “on February 11th, 2019 during the APC Governorship rally in Mkpat Enin; thugs aided by men in uniform went round the Local Government Area destroying PDP billboards at PDP Secretariat, Council Secretariat and other strategic locations”, noting that they maintained their calm because of the common values they shared.
“In the face of all these provocations, we still remained civil. We maintain this disposition not because we can’t resist, but we are conscious of the common values that bind us together. But we are disappointed that our brothers in the other party have neglected the need to engage the electorate positively but rather chose to intimidate them for personal gains”.
They noted that the untoward behaviour of Bernard Udoh was not new to them saying “anytime Bernard Udoh has a political ambition, whether it leads to his emergence or failure as expected this time; it is always characterized with violence, bloodshed and intimidation of his opponents by both armed thugs and compromised uniform men”.
“It is on record and still very fresh in the memory of the people that in 2007, while a set of innocent people embarked on a peaceful protest, Bernard Udoh instigated ADUMA with the false allegation that those protesters were militants. In their swift reaction, they went in, opened fire on the protesters, that led to scores being wounded and one permanently deformed”, they recalled.
“In Bernard Udoh’s blood thirsty ambition, on April 26th, 2007, the eve of a National Assembly election, the quartet of Ubong Ekefre, Ubong Uto, Joe Akpan and Sunday Akrasi were accosted by Bernard Udoh with a team of 16 armed mobile policemen at Ibagwa. That experience informed a petition to the National Security Adviser that was titled: Need to arrest The Spate of Official Sponsored Terrorism Brewing in Akwa Ibom; A petition Against Hon. Bernard Ambrose Udoh”.
They expressed their displeasure at the spate of “indiscriminate and unannounced illegal raids of the apartments of young and vocal citizens of the Local Government Area”, observing that “Bernard Udoh is unrepentant of his Police-aided brutality on the people he seeks to represent” and is rather “intimidating the people of Mkpat Enin”.
They posited that they were privy to the knowledge that the former member Representing Mkpat Enin State Constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon. Otobong Ndem, “at a nocturnal meeting of the APC had handed over names of prominent elders in Mkpat Enin such as Engr. Mayen Etukudo, SA to the Governor on Power, Prof. Eno Ibanga, the current Vice Chancellor of Akwa Ibom State University, Mr. Iniobong Akpan, Secretary of Council, Mkpat Enin and others to mention but few for arrest” stating that Mr. Monday Micah, a youth activist in the area has been rumoured to be killed before the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections next in March.
“In keeping to these threats, the APC has through the instrumentality of the Nigerian Police force carried out their first assignment by arresting Chief Anietie Isiaenang who was also part of the names submitted by the former lawmaker for arrest”, they maintained.
They stressed that the area has “enjoyed relative peace in the Local Government Area since Bernard Udoh was rejected by the people through the ballot in 2011” and will still be rejected “because he is not fit to represent his people”.
They asserted that “the forthcoming election is not a do or die affair but our brothers on the other divide have continued to paint a picture that they will not allow the wishes of Mkpat Enin people to manifest at the polls.”
“We cannot tell who their next target is but as responsible citizens, we are using this medium to inform the public of the latest plot by the APC to intimidate and falsely implicate Mkpat Enin people all in a bid to win the election which they are sure they cannot win because of their unpopularity and rejection by the people”.
They pledged to ensure the safety of lives and properties of Mkpat Enin people during and after the elections in their capacity as concerned citizens, adding that they are “committed to protecting the convictions of our people”.
They therefore called on the people of the area to disregard the happenings and the Police, to be professional in their duties while maintaining their stance to remain on the part of conscientious action.
“We are telling the people of Mkpat Enin that they should look at the intimidations as comedy shows. We are appealing to the Nigerian police to be professional in their duties. We shall stand by the truth which represents the conscience of the people”.