The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, has lamented that the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has hijacked election materials from most of the polling units in Essien Udim Local Government Area (LGA).
Akpabio, who spoke with newsmen at Ukana Ward 2, Unit 009, Polling Unit of the Honourable Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, a supposed candidate for the Appeal Court-ordered senatorial rerun, said most voting papers were torn by thugs mobilized by the APC.
Akpabio said he called for the deployment of security personnel because of the plan by the APC to hijack election materials.
The Commissioner, who acted already defenceless and defeated, told newsmen: “These guys in black outfits keep tearing ballot papers once they see anyone vote for PDP.
“Reports reaching me from other units also have it that APC has been hijacking materials. You can also see the low turnout here despite the fact that we carried out enough sensitization.”
When asked if he had successfully voted, Commissioner reluctantly, said: “yes I did, but I do not know whether mine was also torn”.
It could be recalled that the All Progressives Congress had, in a press conference in Uyo yesterday withdrawn from the rerun, blaming their decision on the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, whom they alleged was already biased and would not give room for fair play.
But the atmosphere at Independent High School, which hosts three polling units in Ukana ward 2, unit 009 suggests otherwise, with a tensed security presence, though with low turn out of voters. Journalists were also denied access to the unit by hoodlums manning the gate.
Newsmen observed that voting was going on in the three polling units located within the premises of the Independence High School, Ukana West and other units visited.
The general atmosphere in the LGA suggests disregard for the restriction of vehicular movements earlier placed by the police.