Gov. Liyel Imoke of Cross River State

Three Action Congress of Nigeria ACN agents are in hospital following severe machete cuts inflicted on them by suspected PDP thugs during the 28 August, 2010 Local Government Elections in Cross State, Nigeria.

The agents, Effiong Edem, Asuquo Etim, and Ekepenyong Jmaes were inflicted machete cuts in Ward three of Calabar South while serving as agents to the candidate of AC Etim Asuquo .

The agents who were inflicted knife cuts said they were attacked when they demanded for the proper conduct of the election. “When the materials were brought in from the CROSIEC, the PDP agents asked us to leave the venue where the materials were to be distributed. We refused, they descended on us with knifes and guns”, Effiong Edem told PM NEWS.

He said the thugs chased them away and started to thumb print the ballot papers. “They did the thumb printing in the Primary School and even the police assisted in the thumb printing”, he said.

In the same vein, the APGA candidate in Bise Local Government, Dr Frank Owali said the police assisted by soldiers took away the election materials to thumb print and declare the PDP candidate Dr. Emil Inyang of having won a lndslide victory. “Soldiers and mobile policemen were used by card carriers of the PDP to hijack election materials”

Angered by the wholesale hijacking of materials in Biase, women from the area protested in Calabar on Monday. The placards-carrying women who claimed Dr. Frank Owali, the APGA chairmanship candidate was the people’s choice, stormed Bishop Monagh Avenue , Leopard Town Road, Governor’s office in Calabar, urging the state Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke to prevail on the leadership of the CROSIEC to reschedule the Biase Local Government council elections, as voting materials including result sheets for the area were allegedly carted away by some influential PDP members in the area.

Spokesperson for the Erei women, Mrs. Gloria Ekor Owali said scores of their children were innocently arrested and detained at the state police headquarters, Diamond Hill in Calabar, accusing the incumbent chairman of the Biase Council cum PDP chairmanship candidate, Dr. Emil Inyang and the lawmaker representing the area in the House of Representative of using armed soldiers and mobile policemen to prevent the electorate in the area from choosing those they wanted as chairman and councilors for the area.

The women, who displayed placards round some major streets of Calabar, said “We came out to vote but we did not see materials, yet they have written results, declaring Dr. Emil Inyang (PDP) winner”.

The women who were accompanied by Bishop Frank Owali, the APGA chairmanship candidate for the area said voting did not take place in the area, alleging the election materials were diverted to the residential buildings of the National Assembly member, Hon. Alex Ukam, and incumbent chairman of the council, Dr Inyang.

According to them, “if this is what electoral reforms is all about, it then means Nigeria is not yet ready for true democracy”.

Calling on the state commissioner of police to release their wards who were “innocently arrested”, the women called for cancellation of the polls, citing the need for proper elections to be conducted in the area.

The women further urged the state governor to prevail on the authorities of the 13 Amphibious Brigade, Nigerian Armed Forces Calabar and the state commissioner of police to release their children.

—Emma Una/ Calabar