The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Akwa Ibom State has described as a confirmation of its fears, the statement credited to the Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressive Congress(APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that operatives of the State Security Service(SSS) were working for the political interest of the APC in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states.
The Akwa Ibom state chairman of the party, Obong Paul Ekpo, stated this while reacting to the interview granted the AIT by Alhaji Lai Mohammed on the presence and involvement of the operatives in the electoral process in the two predominantly PDP states.
"Mohammed, while featuring on a cable television interview programme, Kakaaki on African Independent Television(AIT) on Friday, confirmed the fears being expressed by our party, the PDP that the SSS operatives were carrying out the agenda of the ruling APC in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states. The interview was transmitted live across the globe so it is not a hear say. You can ask the station for the tape if you are in doubt" he declared.
According to Ekpo, "the APC told the whole world that the SSS operatives were in Akwa Ibom and Rivers State in order to assist the party in giving force to a court order. The question then is, when and where has the constitutional duty of the SSS become that of enforcing a court order? What then is the role of the police? So when we raised the alarm that we were under siege by the SSS working I tandem with the ruling party, we were not taken serious, but now that they have come out to clear the air, I think we would be taken serious next time.
Few days ago, the party in the state issued a statement that it was worried by the spate of harassment of its members and the manner the Department of State Security (DSS) was aiding and abetting the opposition at the venue of the electoral tribunal currently sitting in Abuja.
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The party said, "we wish to use this opportunity to alert the nation and the international community about the undisguised display of partisanship by the agents of the State Security Service at the electoral tribunal currently sitting in Abuja. Our members and agents have been hounded, harassed, and threatened by agents of the State Security Service. The Resident Electoral Commissioner has been equally hounded and unfairly singled out for interrogation. We want to put it on record that what the opposition is doing in Akwa Ibom and Rivers state is against the spirit, ethos and values of democratic norms and traditions. Nigeria is not a one-party state and any attempt by the opposition to use the state security to subvert the will of the good people of Akwa Ibom state as expressly given on March 28 and April 11 respectively will be resisted squarely.
We want the world to ask APC and its agents in the SSS why Akwa Ibom state and Rivers are being singled-out for scrutiny. What happened to those states in the north where it was clearly documented for the whole world to see that under-aged kids were allowed to vote? Why are the RECs in those states not being questioned, harassed or hounded? Why Akwa Ibom and Rivers States? Just yesterday, (Sunday, July 26, ) the APC gubernatorial candidate in the last governorship election in the state- Obong Umana Umana brought trailer-loads of thugs to the venue of the tribunal and harassed our members which is a clear violation of the rules of engagement at the tribunal.
Let me sound this note of warning that our people will refuse to be conquered or cowed and will protect the votes that were freely given at the last gubernatorial election. We wish to use this opportunity to alert the international community over this despicable and undemocratic approach by the APC and its agents within the law enforcement circles to subvert the popular will of the people of Akwa Ibom state. The APC has been floundering at the tribunal and are looking for whatever clutch they can hold on to. Their paid witnesses last week, thoroughly weakened their case when they spoke the truth and kept peace with their conscience and creator by puncturing the central narrative of the APC which they have been alleging that there was no election in Akwa Ibom State. The APC witnesses one after the other contradicted the central plank of their argument by stating that there was indeed election in the state, and that they themselves, had participated freely in the exercise.
President Buhari in his meeting with the President of the United States, Barack Obama last week, in Washington DC, also told the whole world that that Nigeria had a free, fair and credible elections and went ahead to thank the United States Government for its support of the exercise. We wish to ask the APC and its agents within the law enforce agencies why they are on a hunting mission in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states even when their standard -bearer and now our President has told the whole world the elections were free and fair. We are aware of the plan by the APC to use every means at their disposal to subvert the will of our people. Let me state here that even though we are a peaceful people, let that, not be seen as a sign of weakness, because we are anything but. The victory that was given to Governor Udom Emmanuel on April 11, 2015, will remain sacrosanct and inviolable and we want the international community to take note of what the APC and the security agencies are doing to subvert democratic norms and values. We will resist this approach with every fiber in our being. Nigerian democracy will not deepen or its traditions entrenched and internalized when the ruling party flagrantly engages in acts that are the very anti-thesis of democratic principles. and known conventions."
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