By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—Despite a bomb blast that rocked the Cross River State secretariat of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, the ward congresses were successfully conducted across the 196 wards in the state.
The explosion, which reportedly occurred following a dynamite thrown into the secretariat by unknown persons, was said to have shattered some windows in the three-storey building. No life was lost
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Hogan Bassey, who confirmed the blast to Vanguard, said he could not say specifically whether it was a bomb explosion or not, as investigation was on.
“We had an intelligence report earlier that some hoodlums were going to cause problem at the PDP secretariat and we mobilised our men and cordoned off the area. Yes, a device was thrown into the premises from the back of the building which did not cause any damage except that it shattered some windows,” Bassey said on phone.
He added that no arrest had been made but that security had been tightened around the area, while investigation had commenced.
Also speaking, the state Deputy Chairman of the party, Mr. Fidelis Egoro, said although he was not around, he heard that there was an explosion at the party’s secretariat.
Attempts to speak with both the state Chairman of the party, Ntufam John Okon and the state Secretary, Mr. Goddy Etta, yielded no results as their telephones were unreachable.
Vanguard investigations revealed that the exercise was conducted under peaceful atmosphere as security agencies including the police, DSS, Civil Defence as well as Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officials were seen at various locations across the state as delegates turned out in their numbers to vote for candidates of their choice.
According to a delegate, Mr. Augustine Ekuri, who spoke with Vanguard shortly after voting in Ajaso Ward, Etung Local Government Area, it was a free and fair exercise, noting that no obstacle was experienced in his ward
“People came out and queued behind who they wanted to vote for and the atmosphere was peaceful as security agents manned the locations properly to check activities of miscreants. Some people could not go to farm and other businesses because as law abiding citizens, we have to obey the law.”
Member representing Abi/Yakurr federal constituency, Mr. Bassy Ewa, said that the ward congresses were peaceful as party members turned out in their numbers to elect their delegates.