The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state is planning to frame its members.
The PDP chairman in Akwa Ibom, Paul Ekpo, while briefing journalists on Sunday in Uyo, said the intent of the alleged plan is to arrest “key stakeholders” of PDP in the state, so as to weaken the party’s readiness for the forthcoming general elections.
“We have received credible intelligence that on Monday, 21st January, 2019 or on any other day during APC rallies, buses branded as PDP buses or vehicles bearing state government number plates, will be loaded with arms and occupied by some criminals, heading to the venue of the APC rally.
“On approaching, the buses and their occupants will be arrested and the contents of the buses displayed for all to see as a major security breakthrough.
“The criminals will mention some PDP top shots as their financiers, necessitating their arrest and subsequent prosecution under the Anti-terrorism Act,” Mr Ekpo, surrounded by other executive members of the PDP, said at the press conference.
“This plot which is hatched and sponsored by the opposition APC is aimed at arresting and incarcerating our key leaders and keeping them away from circulation throughout the elections,” Mr Ekpo added.
The PDP chairman said the party leaders and members in the state were peaceful people who would not want to engage in any violent act.
“It is therefore very unfortunate that people who should be planning for elections are rather hatching evil plans on how to arrest people. It is evident even from the peaceful way we conducted our primaries, that we are very peaceful people,” he said.
Continuing, the chairman said, “In the past few weeks, the leadership of the party, has been inundated with calls from different parts of the state, where our supporters have been wantonly arrested and incarcerated, without any lawful justification.
“In Essien Udim, scores of our youths and elders have been arrested on trumped up charges of defacing or destroying posters belonging to the President. In Nsit Atai, our supporters are slammed with grave charges, just to cause the court to deny them bail. In Nsit Ibom, one of our supporters was stabbed by a member of the opposition in front of the DPO, and till date, the assailant has not been pulled in for question or arrested.
“In Ikot Abasi, people who are our supporters who refuse to support their ‘brother’ are mercilessly beaten and harassed. Even Journalists and various press men sympathetic to our cause are daily harassed and intimidated,” he said.
PDP said their members in Akwa Ibom would never be intimidated, no matter what happens.
Mr Ekpo urged party members in the state to remain resolute in their support for the party.
He said the PDP was sure to win the forthcoming general elections.
“The greater the opposition, the more resolute the will of the people will be to ensure their resounding failure. Our people will vote their choice and defend their votes,” Mr Ekpo said.
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the chairman of APC in the state, Ini Okopido, he laughed over the allegation.
“It’s a very funny allegation,” Mr Okopido said. “Maybe that is what they are planning, and the thing will collapse on them.”
“Our God will never allow them to succeed,” he added.