By Emma Una
CALABAR—NO fewer than 12 vehicles in the convoy of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, were Saturday, reportedly destroyed by All Progressives Congress, APC, supporters during a face-off with People’s Democratic Party, PDP, faithful during campaign by the two parties for the state House of Assembly bye-election in the area.
The clash, it was gathered took place in Begiading/ Ohong ward where the two parties supporters met as temper flared, leading to the conflict.
“PDP members attacked and destroyed the vehicle bearing the loud speaker of the APC campaign team and in retaliation the APC faithful attacked the convoy of the governor represented by the Chief of Staff, Martins Orim and destroyed the vehicles,” John Ukpata, an APC supporter said.
It was gathered that three persons had been arrested by the police, yesterday and more people thought to have caused the damage were being haunted by the police.
“The APC loyalists are the ones causing the mischief by saying that Mrs Abbey Ukpukpen is not from Obubu and should not be elected, while we in PDP have been carrying out peaceful campaign for our candidate and telling the people that as the widow of a late Assembly member, she has a right to contest and we are making headway,” Emmanuel Ulayi, a media aide of the governor told Vanguard in a telephone chat.
The situation in the area has been tense since the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, announced the date for the bye-election to replace a member of the House, Stephen Ukpukpen who died in May, during an early morning jogging session.
The PDP chose Abbey Ukpukpen, wife of the late Assembly man as the flag bearer for the party in the election while APC candidate is Adah Ishamali.
Governor Ayade had last week dispatched all his appointees from the area where incidentally, he comes from for a two-week campaign for the PDP candidate. The election is scheduled for August 11.