Some concerned citizens of Akwa Ibom State under the aegis of Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement (AILM), have raised the alarm following reports of influx of armed political thugs and deployment of more regular security forces into the state, two days to the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
Addressing newsmen in Uyo on Thursday March 7, the leader of AILM, Prince Emmanuel Sam, decried the alleged importation of suspected armed militants to Akwa Ibom State by politicians.
In a statement titled “Akwa Must be Free”, Sam averred that ” just few hours after some APC party leaders left Akwa Ibom state with a promise to help wrest power from PDP to APC, over 10 Hiace buses loaded with suspected political thugs were caught on their way from Edo to Akwa Ibom.
“From the video, which has since gone viral, the Police could be seen parading over 50 suspected political thugs who confessed that they were on their way to Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.”
Prince Sam further revealed that the suspects admitted that more than eight buses had already arrived Uyo, the state capital.
“From confession of the suspects, we learn that more than eight buses may have arrived Uyo earlier. We are concerned that Saturday’s elections may be marred with violence because of these condemnable acts of desperation shown by the APC since the beginning of this electoral process.
“We are appealing to Mr. President, Mohammadu Buhari, to rise above partisanship and direct security agencies to end the siege in Akwa Ibom state and allow the people, whom he swore an oath to defend, to elect their leaders freely. Akwa Ibom people know who they want to vote for, it is their constitutional right to cast their votes and their votes must count.
“As the Commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we expect Mr. President to strictly caution the hierarchy of security troops deployed to Akwa Ibom against partisanship and in professionalism during the discharge of their election duty.
“We also call on the international community, especially the United States of America and European Union to beam their searchlight on Akwa Ibom State. We appeal to both local and international observers to document every undemocratic move made by electoral officials or politicians, aimed at stealing the mandate of Akwa Ibom people, for possible sanctions.
Meanwhile, the group also said that “a security source who opted to speak off record, has disclosed that several military and Police units have been redeployed from neighboring states to Akwa Ibom.
“We are perplexed why this directive was given and who gave them since those other states have elections too.”
“It was gathered during the interactive session that more than half of the suspected thugs have been set free by the Police.
“We want to know what INEC Deputy director, ICT from Mr MBA, Assistant Director ICT, deputy director ICT at INEC head quarters are doing in Akwa Ibom?
“If they are posted to Akwa Ibom for election, what were they doing in APC governorship candidate’s house with 26 Racktech officers at 10 pm?
“We discovered that three of them impressed upon the 26 officers to work for APC and asked them to cancel units PDP win.
“We also learnt they were given 2000$ each and were asked to sign their signatures. They were told that police and Army are with them and even the Goc was called in their presence.