Politics

Delegates protest plans to hold PDP guber primaries at military camp in A’ Ibom

ISAAC JOB, UYO

Delegates of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, have protested the plans by Governor Udom Emmanuel to hold the party governorship primary elections at Army Barracks, Igbagwa in Abak local government area of the state.

Speaking with The Trumpet in Uyo on Tuesday, one of the delegates, John Etifit, said the plan by Udom to organize the primary at military Barracks was against the normal practice of holding such exercises in the past at Uyo Township Stadium.

Our Correspondent gathered that the plot to hold the party primary is at an advanced stage with arrangement for adequate security as the reason for the relocation to a military barracks which is over 30 kilometres away from the city capital.

Etefit, one of the statutory delegates said the state government was desirous to impose their anointed aspirant on the party and has concluded plans to stampede the party into taking the primaries to Ibagwa barracks.

According to him, ” After fruitless efforts to get most of us to support the aspiration of Pastor Umo Eno, hit brick walls, subtle and open threats have been employed.

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He explained that the delegates were deceived by core supporters of the government’s preferred aspirant. Their final joker is the barracks where only their supporters will be allowed access while those supporting the other aspirants would be turned back.

Another statutory delegate, Mr Asuquo Ekanem from Oruk Anam council area disclosed that some top PDP state officials who were not buying into the Pastor Umo Eno project had quietly informed them that the state executive of the party was supporting the idea of military barracks just to please the government.

In his words, “Democracy is fully under threat in Akwa Ibom state, the state government in sheer readiness to impose their preferred aspirant is leaving no stone unturned in enthroning dictatorship. They are no longer appealing or lobbying us to accept their aspirant but asking us to wait and see if we will even have access to the venue. We were informed that we will hear our names mentioned but accreditation tags will be given to their men on ground and there is nothing we will do about it”.

Other delegates who spoke with The Trumpet appealed to well-meaning Nigerians, human rights groups, international community and other related bodies to beam their searchlight on Akwa Ibom state as the primaries may set the once peaceful state on fire and unprecedented carnage.

“Any venue outside the Uyo township stadium is not acceptable to us,” he said.

“The essence of the relocation is to rig the primaries with ease after chasing away those they considered as opposing their project with soldiers. But we won’t allow that to happen,” he said

“We are ready to protect the future of our children and the coming generation with our blood, a few people cannot dictate to over seven million Akwa Ibom people,” Mrs Maria Ekpe from Ika said.

When contacted on the raging matter, the state publicity secretary of the party Mr Borono Bassey told The Trumpet that the matter is still in the realm of speculation.

“It’s purely speculation by outsiders at this moment and it should be disregarded,” he explained.

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