- The police in Akwa Ibom state has alleged that some politicians are sponsoring thugs ahead of the 2019 general election
- Police said the thugs are expected to distort the peace and security of the state during this year’s general elections
- According to the commissioner of police in Akwa Ibom, any form of violence perpetrated by thugs in the state before and during the 2019 general elections for prompt action should be reported
The commissioner of police in Akwa Ibom, Bashir Makama, has accused politicians of sponsoring thugs to distort the peace and security of the state during this year’s general elections.
Makama made the accusation during a meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and political stakeholders in Uyo on Tuesday, February 19.
He urged the people of the state to report any form of violence perpetrated by thugs in the state before and during the 2019 general elections for prompt action.
“I want to urge all Akwa Ibom people to be peaceful and accept the opinion of others and do it in line with laid down procedures.
“If there is a peaceful and credible election, the votes of the people will speak for itself.
“Political parties have filled the state with thugs and if you can identify them, your responsibility should be to report so that something can be done about it but if you have the information and you do not report, nothing can be done.
“When I first came to Akwa Ibom, I was accused of partnering with a political party. I want to make it clear that our duty is to serve the people of Akwa Ibom,’’ Makama said.
Also, the Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini, said that the number of collected Permanent Voters’ Card (PVCs) in the state as at the close of the exercise stood at 1.94 million.
He said that the commission would not surrender the integrity of the electoral body, stressing that elections in the state must be free, fair and credible.
The REC warned politicians and their supporters to stay clear of the affairs of the electoral body, explaining that the list of collation officials were compiled by the INEC Headquarters in Abuja.
“The integrity of those recruited, trained and deployed can not be questioned.
“If the list of the ad hoc staff is released early, politicians will try to mislead them. Why will political parties or candidates be interested in the recruitment, training and deployment of ad hoc staff.
“It is an abomination. The list of coalition officials was compiled in Abuja and drawn from the University of Uyo.
“I call on Akwa Ibom people to disregard all false statements about the commission. We will not surrender the integrity of the electoral body. The number of PVCs collected is 1.94 million,’’ Igini said.
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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police command on Feb. 18, paraded 41 thugs that were brought from outside to the state on the eve of the postponed Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that INEC has said no third parties were involved in the configuration of card readers as being speculated by some politicians.
The INEC chairman said this on Tuesday, February 19, while responding to questions during a press briefing in Abuja.
Legit.ng gathered that the dispatching, white-listing, installation, upgrading of software, configuration of smart card readers were done entirely by the officials of the commission.
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Nigerians express disappointment with INEC over election postponement - on Legit TV