The just-concluded All Progressives Congress governorship primaries in Akwa Ibom State on Sunday turned bloody as three persons were said to have been killed during the exercise.
Straightnews learnt that in Ifiayong Usuk, Uruan local government area, gunmen suspected to be working for one of the governorship aspirants, while trying to hijack materials for the governorship primary, killed an APC faithful, one Ukeme Efanga.
Efanga, a father of three was said to have been shot at close range as he was trying to resist the hijack of election materials.
An APC chieftain in Uruan and Uyo senatorial hopeful, Mr. KufreAbasi Etuk published the sad incident on his Facebook timeline.
In Uyo, a supporter of Senator John James AkpanUdoedehe, one Emmanuel Asuquo, was alleged to have been killed following sporadic gunshots by armed thugs escorted by security agents along Ikot Ekpene Road, near the APC’s state secretariat.
The incident was said to have occurred as agents and supporters of governorship aspirants resisted attempts by armed thugs and party officials to divert sensitive materials meant for the governorship primary in parts of Akwa Ibom South and Akwa Ibom North East senatorial districts.
According to an eye witness, there was a heated argument between agents and supporters of governorship aspirants of APC and some armed men escorting party officials and sensitive materials from the party secretariat.
He said, “Trouble started when agents of a particular aspirant were allowed to enter the convoy escorted by the police while other agents were ordered not to follow. This directive was vehemently rejected as supporters of other aspirants raised the alarm, accusing party officials and the police of plotting to divert sensitive materials.
“Tempers were running high from the ensuing argument as agents and supporters of the former senator blocked the road, asking the police to either accept agents of other aspirants to join the convoy or ask the aspirant’s agents to step down.”
A source who did not want to be named, told our correspondent that one of the thugs began making calls after which he spoke to his colleagues.
He added that at that instant, they began cocking their guns threatening while the policemen looked on, noting that the development appeared to infuriate the youths.
“One of the agents attempted to force open the door of one of the cars when the leader of the armed thugs opened fire and others started shooting sporadically,” she said.
In Itu, unconfirmed report hinted Straightnews that a supporter of one of the aspirants was reportedly killed during attempt by some thugs to snatch materials from supporters of another aspirant.
An anonymous source who did want his name in the print could not identify the victim.
However, the party bigwigs, Enefiok Ekefre from Uyo and Uwemdimo Owo from Nsit Atai confirmed to Straightnews that three persons were killed during the primary, and lamented over the sad incident.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Odiko MacDon telephone rang out when our correspondent tried to seek his opinion on the matter, yet he did not respond as at the press time.
The governorship primary in the state that was by direct primary was said to be marred by violence occasioned by shootings and snatching of election materials by thugs of the aspirants.