Residents of Akwa Ibom, Rivers States set for elections

Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio

As the presidential and National Assembly elections approach, political parties in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States are going about their last minutes campaigns.

In Akwa Ibom, the leadership and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, the All Progressives Congress, the Labour Party, and the Accord Party engaged in house-to-house campaigns to woo prospective voters in the state.

Unlike what happened during the 2011 polls, the campaigns in Akwa Ibom have been largely violent- free except for last week’s assassination of an APC state House of Representatives candidate in Ukanafun Local Government Area of the state.

In 2011, the PDP and the then Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN were constantly engaged in bloody confrontations that left dozens dead and properties worth billions of naira destroyed.

It was during the build up to that election that hoodlums who were allegedly protesting attack by PDP supporters in Ikot Ekpene, burnt down hundreds of brand new vehicles acquired by the government for the introduction of township transport services in the state.

But during the campaigns for the forthcoming polls, political actors in the state have approached the contest with some level of civility.

Major streets in Uyo the state capital are quiet but drinking joints are still booming with customers.

For instance, on Wednesday night, the popular Maitama area of Ewet Housing Estate was brimming with fun-seekers as loud music blared from loud speakers placed in dozens of joints which dot the area.

In Port Harcourt, the ever-busy Aba Road was impassable as hundreds of cars struggled to leave the city ahead of the polls. PREMIUM TIMES crew found it difficult to access the city through the East-West Road by Eleme.

The traffic that started from the Refinery Junction, stretched to the Eleme Petrochemical Junction and made it impossible for vehicular traffic to get into Port Harcourt.

Our team spent over three hours and had to divert and go through narrow community-maintained roads to get to Eleme Junction.

As of Thursday, most highways in the state were locked down by vehicles trying to leave Port Harcourt and it seems many motorists would spent the night on the road.

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