Cross River PDP: Police barricade rally venue in Calabar

There was mild drama on Saturday at Calabar Sports Club, the venue for the flag-off of Campaigns for Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency & Akpabuyo State constituency bye elections as  security operatives barricaded the entrance to  deny members  of the opposition People’s Democratic party, PDP, entry to the venue.

Vanguard gathered that as early as 7:00am a tactical team of security personnel numbering about 100 comprising the army, civil defence and police stormed Calabar Sports Club to stop the event with Hilux Vans and one Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).

The leader of the team on arrival threatened hundreds of PDP faithful to vacate or face the wrath of the law, but they resisted the order to leave, stressing that they were given due approval by the police authority.

When our reporter went to the venue of the event about 1pm, hundreds of PDP supporters had overwhelmed the operatives as many of them were trooping into the place through the emergency gates while some were seen erecting banners and pasting posters of their various candidates for the by-election and the three expected governors.

The party supporrers were shouting ‘leave-us-alone-to-hold-our-event. This is democracy.’

Recall that the State Working Committee of PDP constituted a campaign committee for Ogoja/Yala federal constituency and Akpabuyo State Assembly by-election scheduled for Saturday, February 26, 2022.

The campaign committee, made up of over 1, 000 members, and are officially to be inaugurated today, February 19, 2022, are to move to their various wards and polling units to embark on aggressive campaigns to sell their candidates, Chief Mike Usibe for Ogoja/Yala federal constituency and Dr  Effiom Ekeng Edet for Akpabuyo State House of Assembly.

The governors expected at the kick off rally are Governors Nyesom Wike, Udom Emanuel and Samuel Ortom of Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Benue states respectively just as Senators  Gershom Bassey, Sandy Onor Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, Rt Hons Essien Ayi, Eta Mbora and  Daniel Asuquo would also attend the event.

Other party stalwarts that would be at the rally, tagged ‘operation-deliver-PDP’ include former governors Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, zonal leaders, chapter and ward leaders.

When contacted on  telephone, the Cross River State Police Commissioner, Aminu Alhassan, confirmed that he deployed his men to cordon off the venue of PDP rally, saying it is because of security report.

His words : “I sent the security to avoid breakdown of law and order in the state. Two big parties cannot hold events the same day so that they won’t cause problem.

“So, I had to stop the PDP own and allow APC own. PDP can hold their own tomorrow please.”

When asked which of the parties first applied for approval to hold event today, he said both applied and he gave them all approval but that the APC Youth Summit has been having their activities and today was the climax of the event.

Cross River APC Youths Summit is holding at U. J.Esuene stadium simultaneously.

Source: Vanguard News Nigeria

Author: Gideon Oluwatobi

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