From Judex Okroro, Calabar

Thugs have attacked the homes of some chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Akpabuyo, Cross River State, destroying vehicles and looting household items worth millions of naira.

The thugs, rumoured to be sympathetic to a candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) within the southern senatorial district, invaded the houses of not less than eight PDP stalwarts at their various residences between 7:00 pm Sunday and the early hours of Monday, though no life was lost.

The homes of some of the PDP chieftains attacked included that of the State Organising Secretary, Mr Nsa Ekeng, Atimbo West ward, Francis Effanga, director general of PDP southern senatorial candidate campaign council, Ekpo Okon, Elder Effiom Edet Ekpo, PDP Atimbo West ward chairman, Innocent Atsenudiara, Supervisor in Calabar South and said to be a loyalist of PDP House of Rep member, Hon Essien Ayi and Amanso Okon Etim, PDP chapter youth leader, Atimbo East Ward.

Others affected are Edet Okon Etim (aka Sunny), youth leader Atimbo West ward, Emmanuel Eyo, Atimbo West Ward and Saviour Maurice, PDP Vice chairman, Atimbo West.

A witness, Emmanuel Okon, 34, said the attack was a coordinated one as the hooligans numbering over a hundred were seen moving from one PDP member house to the other just as they houses, vandalised vehicles parked at every compound they invaded and carted away valuable house items such as electronics, beddings and cooking utensils.

Okon decried the incident, saying the local vigilance team had to move in to rescue some of the victims and their families to avoid bloodshed.

In an interview with newsmen at his residence in Akpabuyo, Francis Effanga, director general of PDP southern senatorial candidate campaign council, Ekpo Okon, said he was surprised that his house was attacked because he plays his politics in Cakabar South and not in Akpabuyo.

Effanga said: I came back on Sunday evening and saw some boys mustering around Maternity axis of our area. I quickly drove off because I suspected something and later returned.

“But about 10:00 pm, they brought light and I suddenly heard people clustering around my compound. I peeped through my room window and saw over a hundred boys armed with sophisticated guns and other dangerous weapons.

“I called the local vigilance boys and they smuggled me out through the back door, leaving my family members in the house. I put calls through to security and there was no response. I thank God no family member was attacked apart from the two cars and doors they destroyed. They also stole the car batteries and other valuable car documents.

Related News

“I can tell you that these attacks were carried by APC boys and their supporters. But they would not deter us. We are on the ground in Akpabuyo and nobody can intimidate us on election day.”

Narrating his ordeal, Elder Effiom Edet Ekpo, PDP Atimbo West ward chairman, said the attack took place between the hours of 2:30 am and 3 am on Monday, February 6, 2023.

Ekpo, who said he knows the identities of the attackers, said they were shouting APC all through the attack.

According to him, “this attack was a fallout of the meeting the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Joseph Bassey, held in the community on Sunday evening and some of these boys were in that meeting.”

However, the Deputy Speaker, Bassey has denied being responsible for the attack and that at no time did he send anybody to carry out anything of such.

Bassey, who is the All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Representatives candidate for Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi federal constituency, said he had always played by the rule when it comes to politics.

“I am not from Akpabuyo nor do I have boys there. I only go to Akpabuyo whenever I am invited and it was such an invitation I honoured on Sunday to inaugurate my campaign office in the area.

“Those alleging that I was responsible for the attack have nothing to say. I am against violence and thuggery in politics. People should play by the rules because we shall still leave together after the election,” he stated.

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police, CP Sule Balarabe, said they were on top of the situation and has deployed a team to the area to restore normalcy.

He warned those instigating crises to get ready as security agencies won’t allow anyone to breach the peace of the local government area for any reason.

CP Balabare called on politicians in the state to adhere to the rules of engagement before, during and after this electioneering, calling for tolerance from all stakeholders.