Police still barricading Akwa Ibom road, 11 days after elections

Nigeria Police Officers
FILE PHOTO: Nigeria Police Officers

A major road in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, is still being barricaded by the police even when elections in the state have been concluded and results announced.

The road, Udo Udoma Avenue, leads to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.

The barricade is to forestall a possible attack on the INEC facility, apparently.

The police began the blockade during the February 23 presidential and national assembly elections.

Apart from the presence of anti-riot police officers and the police trucks stationed in the middle of the road from both ends, discarded tyres, sticks, and sundry items are used by the police to form a roadblock, therefore preventing vehicles from driving through it.

The Udo Udoma Avenue is generally a busy road as hundreds of people access high-end locations like the state secretariat annexe, the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre (the cinemas), the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, the federal high court, and several bank branches through it.

When a PREMIUM TIMES reporter tried to drive through the road to the federal high court on Friday, he was stopped by fierce-looking police officers who directed him to make use of an untarred bypass.

PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately get the police to speak on the matter, as the police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, did not respond to calls and text message to his phone line.

The INEC spokesperson in the state, Don Etukudoh, told PREMIUM TIMES the police at the Udo Udoma Avenue were protecting the commission’s staff and facilities. “We can’t leave anything to chance,” he said.

A local office of INEC was set ablaze by unknown persons in the state in the eve of the governorship and house of assembly elections.

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