Akwa Ibom: PDP accuses APC of preparing for war as guber candidate, Ekere shuns peace accord signing

Nsima Ekere

The absence of the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Nsima Ekere, at the signing of peace accord for all the political parties in the state, has raised a lot of dust as the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has claimed that the opponent tactfully evaded the signing of the treaty because he was ready for war.

The peace accord was organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.

The Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Akwa Ibom, Ini Ememobong, said the APC was simply looking for a way to avoid committing to the Peace accord, in preparation for their ‘Warsaw promise.’

Ememobong in a statement said, “Today, at the signing of the Peace Accord organized by INEC, the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Nsima Ekere exhibited his consistent, habitual and unrepentant show of rascality by coming hours after the event had started and sought to stroll across the main aisle of the venue.

“Of course by all protocol standards, he was advised to enter from the front door, but use the middle aisle to his seat which was at the other end of the hall. He resisted and insisted on swaggering pass the front. Protocol officers of INEC offered to take him to his seat but he left boasting that Igini must be removed.

“Long before his arrival, his state chairman, Ini Okopido, had arrived and was seated on his designated seat. The INEC REC asked about the whereabouts of his candidate, to which he replied that he (Nsima) was coming, that he had other engagements.”

The PDP Spokesperson stated that Raphael Edem was never the MC but only did his duty of introducing the Governor and other dignitaries noting that all responsible Akwa Ibom Stakeholders including Obong Victor Attah attended the event in good time and participated effectively, but ‘APC and their candidate Nsima Ekere can never conform to normal etiquette.

He, therefore, called on INEC to direct Nsima Ekere to append his signature and subscribe to the Peace Accord which the PDP candidate and the others have already done.

However, chairman of the APC in the state, Ini Okopido, in a statement on Wednesday insisted that his governorship candidate, Ekere, never boycotted the peace treaty, rather he was barred from entering the venue of the event by the protocol and security personnel of governor Emmanuel Udom.

According to the release, “We wish to bring to the attention of the General Public, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Police and the civil society the unfortunate development at the Ibom Hall, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State this morning when our Governorship Candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere, arrived for the signing of a scheduled Peace Accord. On arrival at the entrance of the venue, Obong Ekere was stopped from entering the hall by the protocol and security officials and thugs of the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, who had arrived earlier.

“Obong Ekere’s entreaties to be let in to participate in the ceremony, including his explanations that he first had to attend a previously scheduled prayer summit for peaceful elections at the Methodist Church, Itiam Etoi, Uyo, were turned down by the government officials. Our candidate had to turn back.”

“I was present inside the hall and I saw clearly that the whole ceremony was turned into a state government event. The Master of Ceremony was Mr. Raphael Edem, the governor’s special assistant on Public Affairs, and yet this was supposed to be an INEC event for all Governorship Candidates. The entrance was manned by the government’s protocol and security officials, in addition to his notorious uniformed thugs.

“It must be emphasized that Mr. Udom Emmanuel attended the event as a Governorship Candidate of the PDP and not as Governor. We, therefore, do not understand why government officials and thugs were allowed, if not encouraged, by INEC to harass another candidate.

“This incident is most unfortunate and demonstrates once again our position that INEC in Akwa Ibom State should show impartiality to all candidates and maintain neutrality in its conduct. We completely object to officials of the PDP State Government moderating and taking charge of security at an INEC function to which all political parties were invited as equals.

“APC will continue to reject, oppose and resist every attempt to mortgage the INEC’s independence and impartiality such as was put on display today,” he said.