*Thugs unleash mayhem on deputy gov, others at reception rally
The Akwa Ibom State deputy Governor Mr Moses Ekpo, was among stakeholders and government officials who survived a violent attack by hired thugs, during Tuesday’s defection of APC members, in Essien Udim, home of former Governor Godswill Akpabio.
The occasion held at the Unity Hall, of the Essien Udim local government council headquarters, saw a massive declaration of support to Governor Udom Emmanuel by former and serving chapter and ward executive council members of the APC, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, a younger brother and former aide of the immediate past Senate minority leader, as well as Chief Michael Afangideh, regarded as Akpabio’s political godfather.
This ceremony was however disrupted when thugs suspected to be supporters of Senator Godswill Akpabio, stormed the venue and launched on the participants, including the state deputy governor, Mr Moses Ekpo.
The thugs allegedly led by one Adionganye Akpabio a cousin to Senator Akpabio and Imo Ibara from Ukana West ward1, arrived in buses and started launching missiles and attacking everyone at the premises while the Deputy Governor was receiving the APC decampees on behalf of the Governor.
They sent people scampering, but for the swift intervention of armed security agents on the delegation of the deputy governor and other state government officials.
The state Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, Prince Ukpong Akpabio who spoke to newsmen after the incident, thanked God for the prompt response of the police to arrest the situation.
Prince Akpabio said he was happy that the PDP supporters and youths at the event maintained their calm, and did not attempt to take laws into their hands, as it would have resulted in undesirable consequences.
The miscreants who succeeded in causing injury on some persons, and destroying some vehicles at the venue allegedly escaped and jumped into a nearby river at Afaha Ikot Ebak.
A Honda Accord vehicle belonging to the PDP Chapter Chairman in Essien Udim, Hon. Ntiedo Usoro was vandalized by the APC thugs.
They also destroyed were some cars and motorcycle belonging to the APC members who defected to the PDP.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters, Elder Ufot Ebong, said he was astonished to see that nature of violent attack by the APC thugs, at a mere political meeting.
“I have never seen anything like this, they came armed and they made bonfires on the road and attempted to barricade us inside so they can kill us.” This is very horrible and I am worried about this development,” Elder Ebong told reporters.
Few minutes to the commencement of the event, some of the APC defectors had raised alarm that many of their members who had concluded plans to join them at the Unity Hall to show solidarity for Governor Udom Emmanuel were held hostage at a location by Mr. Nsentip Akpabio, a brother to Senator Akpabio where several offers, including millions of naira and car gifts were promised should they remain in APC.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Udom Emmanuel, represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, charged Essien Udim people to remain peaceful and welcome government initiatives in the area.
He enjoined them to guard their PVCs jealously and be ready to use it to cast their votes for all PDP candidates standing elections in 2019.