In an effort to woo supporters for their candidates in the 2019 general elections, the youths of the former Abak Five Division in Akwa Ibom State under All Progressives Party, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Friday held different rallies, same day simultaneously in Abak urban, a move that further engendered political feud and rivarly among them.
Straightnews gathered that while the PDP youths gathered at Abak Sports Stadium for praise and prayer summit, the APC youths were at Government Technical College, Abak opposite the council’s secretariat for the reception of Nsima Ekere, Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Among people who attended the Abak 5 Solemn Assembly were the international President of Abak 5, Prince Akpan Ikim; Ekpuk Eshiet, commissioner 111 in Akwa Ibom Local Government Service Commission; Soni Udom, PDP chieftain; Dr. Charity Ido, chairman of state Technical Schools Board, among others.
From the APC angle were Don Etiebet, BOT member of APC; Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, a one-time member who represented Abak-Etim Ekpo-Ika Federal Constituency; Umana Okon Umana, Managing Director of of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority; OGFZA, Obong Rita Akpan, one-time minister of Women Affairs; and Inibehe Okori, APC bigwig, among others.
An APC stalwart in the area, Engr. Akanimo Edet told Straightnews that “Our party had booked the stadium, but two days after the council turned down our request on the pretext that there would be another event same day. Based on this, we had to look for another venue for the event.”
Effort to reach the council’s chairman, Imo William who is also a PDP member in the area was successful.
But an anonymous source confided in Straightnews “Perhaps, the PDP saw the reception as an attempt to shut down its wing politically from flying higher in the area and from swimming in the political waters for ‘fishes.’
In March this year, PDP youths in the former Abak 5 Division held a mega rally/reception for Governor Udom Emmanuel and later endorsed him for a second term in the office.
Another source confirmed to Straightnews that “the APC youths had booked the stadium for the mega reception of Nsima Ekere, but the PDP youths fearing that the ceremony would take the shine off their party had to hurriedly book and fix their prayer and praise summit at same venue and on same day.”
However, few days to the event, APC was announcing in Planet FM 101.1, Uyo, inviting people to Government Technical College, Abak for the reception.
It was alleged that Friday morning, some unidentified youths purported to members of APC attempted to hijack and take over the stadium, but they were promptly resisted by some eagle-eyed youths of the the rival party.
According to the source, the PDP moved in as early as possible and mounted their sound system and started playing to draw guests to the event. Thereafter, members of invited organisations who arrived at the venue early started dancing to the scintillating music.
At Abak Stadium, Eshiet, the local government commissioner from Etim Ekpo said the youths came to pray to God usher in peace and security in the former division and to allow Udom to be re-elected.
Already, Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun local government areas, members of the former division are under siege as cultists are daily killing, kidnapping, raping people and setting their houses ablaze, making most of the indigenes to have deserted to safe neighbouring communities.
David Effiong of Divine Ibom Movement also agreed that they came to pray for God to peace to reign as well as to bring to an end the activities of cultists and other criminals in the areas.
However, Uwem Udoma, Senior Special Assistant to Managing Director of NDDC, Nsima Ekere reasoned that while they were at the reception, the PDP youths at the stadium were praying for sunshine and for emergence of Nsima Ekere as the next Akwa Ibom governor.