By Prince Bassey
UYO -Men of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Friday evening, aborted an attempt by hoodlums suspected to be sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to burn down the building housing the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC).
The hoodlums allegedly acting on the orders of APC top shots in the State invaded the premises of the State Electoral body to set it ablaze to stall the Local Government Council Elections scheduled for Saturday, 2nd December, 2017.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity told PDP News FLASH that it took the timely intervention of police operatives to quell the activities of the mob that besieged the premises of the Commission located along Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo.
He narrated: “We were just sitting outside our compound. Suddenly, we saw people arriving in buses. They were chanting APC slogans and shouting ‘we no go gree’ and moving towards the AKISIEC building. The Policemen who were already stationed at the premises were warning them to evacuate the area, but they ignored and kept advancing forward trying to the main gate at the building. Their efforts were however, on each occasion, thwarted by police wielding tear gas canisters. They retreated and regrouped this time throwing stones at the Policemen. The Policemen decided to fire gunshots into the air to disperse them.”
Our eagled-eyed reporter who arrived the scene of the incident at about 5.51pm, observed the member representing Oruk Anam/Ukanafun Federal Constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Emmanuel Ukoette who jump-shipped from the PDP to the APC in February, 2017 arriving the premises.
When the hoodlums sighted the Federal House member who parked his official vehicle by Aka Itiam end of Udo Udom Avenue, they regrouped again this time becoming more aggressive. Mr Ukoette who also attempted to forcefully gain entry into the building was told by the Policemen that only officials of the Commission were allowed entry into the building. Disappointed at his inability to enter the Premises, Hon Ukoette left the premises in anger.
Our reporter also observed that, few minutes after the Federal House Member had left the area, another set of hoodlums emerged from Full Life Avenue end of Udo Udoma, this time engaging the policemen in an open confrontation. It took the combined efforts of Mobile Policemen and men of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) to dispersed the hoodlums.
At the time of filing this report, the entire area was deserted with business owners hurriedly closing their shops for fear of being looted by the APC sponsored thugs.
The State Police Command Image Maker, Bala Elkana, on Thursday said that the Command is well prepared to deal decisively with anyone bend on causing the breach of peace before, during and after the election.