As the 2019 elections draw closer, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has insisted that it will get security agencies to arrest anyone who instigates or perpetrates violence during the forth coming polls.
It would be recalled that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had in January raised alarm over an alleged plot by the APC to connive with the security agencies to get top members of its party arrested in order to limit its chances at the soon to come polls.
The state chairman of PDP, Paul Ekpo, while addressing a press conference, had said “we have stated before and will reiterate now that, we are a peace-loving party, operating within the ambit of the law. Our leaders who are currently being targeted by the opposition, are innocent Nigerians with proven integrity. They do not engage in arms stockpiling, or procurement of violence in any form. It is therefore very unfortunate that people who should be planning for elections, are rather hatching evil plans on how to arrest people.”
The PDP had also dragged the Inspector General of Police (IG), the state police commissioner and the APC to court over alleged harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention of its members, demanding restraint on the police from further arresting it’s members across the state during the electioneering period.
But speaking at the grand finale of the APC governorship campaign in Ikot Abasi local government area of the state on Tuesday, Mr. Ini Okopido, state chairman of the party, said that members of the PDP should not expect to commit crimes during the elections and not get arrested.
Okopido said that the court case by the PDP seemed like they were asking the court to back them to commit crimes during the forth-coming elections and go scot-free.
“They gave themselves orders that they are intending to commit crime and when they commit the crime, nobody should arrest them. It is not fair for someone to say that when he commits crime, no police should arrest him.
“We want to alert the security agencies that they have gone to do that. I don’t arrest persons. Nsima Ekere does not arrest persons. It is the AIG and the commissioner of police that has the right to arrest criminals.
“The president of this country, who is a fair-minded security expert, will not allow any criminal to go unpunished. We want to tell them that whether there is injunction or no injunction, anybody that commits crime will be arrested,” Okopido stated.
However, the state APC governorship candidate, Mr. Nsima Ekere, said that the governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel had failed, urging the people of the area to vote him out in the march 2 gubernatorial elections.
While saying the APC had taken over the state, Ekere said that he had performed exceptionally in the state in his two years as Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).