Worried by the spate of harassment of its members and the manner the Department of State Security (DSS) is allegedly aiding and abetting the opposition at the venue of the electoral tribunal currently sitting in Abuja, the state Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Paul Ekpo has raised an alarm over this worrisome tendency.
In a statement in Uyo and signed by Ekpo, 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."
He stated further that "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 states 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".
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"We want the world to ask the APC and its agents in the SSS why Akwa Ibom and Rivers states 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? , he queried.
According to Ekpo, "Just last 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".
He declared further "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."
Ekpo noted that "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.
He therefore reminded the APC and it's agents that "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 & 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 enforcement agencies why they are on a hunting mission in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states even when their standard -bearer and now our President had told the whole world the elections were free and fair."
He disclosed that "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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