The factional gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Cross River State, Senator John Owan-Enoh and his party have been accused of unleashing violence on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members and supporters.
Governor Ben Ayade, Director General of the PDP campaign organization, Mr. Effiok Cobham, PDP Cross River Central Senatorial District candidate, Prof. Sandy Onor and other PDP stalwarts made the accusation when they paid a sympathy visit to supporters receiving treatment at a private hospital in Calabar after being attacked by thugs suspected to be loyalists of the APC candidate in Calabar.
Ayade, who said that he was not desperate to return as the governor in the March 2 gubernatorial election described the act as inhuman, barbaric and called on the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of violence are brought to book.
He said: “Cross River State is a state that is known for peace, it is a State that is known for good ambience, clean, green and warm people.
“Never in the history of Cross River State have we witnessed the orgy of violence that has befallen the State the way it has in the last one week.
“A few months ago the factional Governorship candidate of the APC, Senator John Owan-Enoh went on campaign in Obudu, there was loss of lives.
“He moved on to Boki recently, yet again one of our strong political stalwarts in Boki; had his father-in-law macheted and killed. The body is still in the mortuary.
“Just few days ago in Etomi, Etung Local Government Area, the ward secretary of PDP was again macheted in a very unholy and ugly manner. He was completely cracked and broken by the supporters of Senator John Owan Enoh’s supporters.
“It is sad also that he is boasting that those people who have been arrested with live ammunition, will be freed and he will ensure that he releases them. I, therefore, call on the Inspector General of Police, the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria to put an eye on Cross River State.
“The level of arm build up by this man is too much and there have been several security reports that he is sewing army and police uniforms. There are reports that he is bringing arms from Cameroon.
“There are reports that he is cutting down the forest reserves of Cross River State, doing illegal logging and exporting woods, nothing has happened; the killing so far, nothing has happened and therefore he has the arrogance and protestant masculinity to assert that he will release all his boys that have been arrested.”
He appealed to PDP supporters not to retaliate and assured that measures are in place to stem the violence during and after the electioneering period.
“I am asking the Commissioner of Police, you must stop and search the convoy to ensure that nobody other than the official people who are authorized to bear arms which are the police or the DSS or indeed Civil Defense bear arms.
“Anybody in the Governor’s convoy or the candidate’s convoy that is carrying arm that is not authorized is a criminal and must be treated as one.
“So, I now hereby as the Chief Security officer of the state, order the continuous and immediate search of all political convoys because the level of arms buildup from Cameroon is too huge and we must check it urgently before it becomes unbearable.”
The Amazonian conflict has also brought in a lot of arms into Cross River State. This is not what we are known for and suddenly this John Owan-Enoh has brought in this orgy of violence that has not been part of Cross River State. It saddens my heart to go to the hospital and visit supporters with almost half limbs, half arms for nothing.
“I think this is not the kind of democracy that we should have twenty years from 1999 and we are going back to those primitive days. I think Mr. President; it is your responsibility as the President of this federal republic to bring this desperate man to book.”