Cross River Government has condemned the acts of thuggery witnessed in the Obudu State Constituency by-election held on August 11, 2018 in Obudu.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the by-election became imperative due to the demise of Hon. Stephen Ukpukpen, who represented Obudu State Constituency.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday in Calabar, Joe Abang, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said that the Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders had unanimously endorsed Ukpukpen’s widow, Abbey Ukpukpen, to contest for the seat.
Abang said the action did not go down well with some Obudu sons who belong to the All Progressives Congress.
He alleged that the APC members who were uncomfortable with that development, enlisted the help of thugs to deliberately undermine the electoral process.
According to him, thugs and cultists from different parts of the country stormed Obudu few days to the election with offensive weapons to disrupt the election.
He said: “Luckily, the eagle eye of the security operatives, who were in Obudu to maintain law and order during the period of the election, were able to spot and apprehend 22 of these miscreants and thugs who were imported into Obudu.”
Abang noted that the Government of Cross River decided to bring to the attention of the world to the sad development in the build-up to by-election to forestall future occurrences.
He said that the accused people by their action, caused voter apathy among the people with only about 50 per cent voter turnout recorded.
He said that the arrested thugs and cultists had been charged to court accordingly and remanded in custody awaiting the advice of the state attorney-general.
Responding to the allegation, Hon. Paul Adah, one of the people accused, refuted the allegations of being involved with thugs and cultists in the concluded by-election.
Adah said: “In my entire political life, I Hon. Paul Adah, have never been linked to politics with cultism; those who know how I play politics in my constituency have never linked me with cultism.
“It is only normal that as a member of the APC, I will support my party but I will never go to the extent of using cultists in an election.”