Seeming desperate power seekers are currently plotting to compromise the integrity and neutrality of the armed security forces in the do-or-die scramble for power in the country ahead of 2023.
To this end, some vested interests in the Akwa Ibom State wing of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are plotting to hold the party’s governorship primaries in a military facility with a veiled intent of outsmarting their opponents.
The plot is already generating serious concern in some quarters, with some worried political observers claiming that the military may have become a willing tool in the hands of politicians with deep pockets in Akwa Ibom.
Though the Defence Headquarters is yet to react to this potential dangerous development, delegates in the state are expressing fears that democracy is under threat in the state following alleged plot by the state chapter to hold the forthcoming governorship primaries in an army barracks.
Some of the delegates told newsmen that the planned relocation of the party’s governorship primaries slated for May 21, 2022 to Army Barracks, Ibagwa in Abak Local Government Area of State against the popular Uyo township stadium which had been the acceptable venue over the years does not augur well for the state and party.
The plot is at an advanced stage and the plotters will advance provision of adequate security as their reason for the relocation of the guber primaries to an army barracks which is more than 30 kilometres away from the city capital.
A statutory delegate, Asuquo Ekanem, from Oruk Anam council area hinted that some top PDP state officials who are not buying into the Pastor Umo Eno project have quietly informed them that the state executive of the party are already tinkering with the idea of Ibagwa barracks venue to please the government.
According to Ekanem, “democracy is fully under threat in Akwa Ibom state, the state government in sheer readiness to impose their preferred aspirant is leaving no stone unturned in enthroning dictatorship, they are no longer appealing or lobbying us to accept their aspirant but asking us to wait and see if we will even have access to the venue, we were informed that we will hear our names mentioned but accreditation tags will be given to their men on ground and there is nothing we will do about it”.
Speaking with Journalists in uyo after a crucial meeting held at unique gardens Ewet housing estate yesterday, John Etefit one of the statutory delegates alleged that the state government desirous to impose their anointed aspirant on the party has concluded plans to stampede the party into taking the primaries to Ibagwa barracks.
According to him, “ after fruitless efforts to get most of us to support the aspiration of Pastor Umo Eno hit a brick wall, subtle and open threats have been employed which we resisted and now the idea of taking the primaries to the barracks have birthed.
Etefit explained, “we were told by core supporters of the government preferred aspirant that their final joker is the barracks where only their supporters will be allowed access and others supporting other aspirants turned back and if they insists on getting in, then soldiers will be directed to unleash mayhem on them”
Other delegates who spoke with journalists appealed to well-meaning Nigerian, human rights groups, international community and other related bodies to turn their searchlight to Akwa ibom state as the primaries may set the once peaceful state on fire and cause unprecedented carnage”.
“Any venue outside the Uyo township stadium is not acceptable to us”, Mr Aniefiok Ekefre, one of the delegates from uyo told journalists. “It must be one man one vote at the primaries, let the popular and acceptable aspirant emerge.
‘’They told us that their preferred aspirant is the God’s choice for Akwa ibom people, why arm-twisting the same people to embrace God’s choice? Akwa ibom people are now wiser and ready to change the narratives, there will be no third term by surrogate and we are not leaving the party for opportunists”.
The concerned delegates further vowed to embark on mass protest and petition the national secretariat of the party for the planned relocation of the governorship primaries to the barracks considered by the state chapter of the party.
“The essence of the relocation is to rig the primaries with ease after chasing away those they considered opposition to their project with soldiers but we won’t allow that to happen, we are ready to protect the future of our children and the coming generation with our blood, a few people cannot dictate to over seven million Akwa ibom people” Mrs. Maria Ekpe from Ika said.
The state publicity secretary of the party Mr Borono Bassey told journalists that the matter is still at the realms of speculation. “It’s purely speculation by outsiders at this moment,” Bassey dismissed the allegation.