by crossriverwatch admin
The intense struggle going on among the rank and file of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State for control of the Party took a violent turn this morning, when a group of thugs attacked the provision store and beer parlor belonging to a local politician, Honorable Cletus Willie, aka Obol Lejumana, in Mphangi Unit of Biko-Biko Ward in Ugep Urban in Yakurr Local Government Area.
The store and beer parlor of Mr. Willie was completely vandalized and looted by the marauders who were alleged to have been mobilized and sponsored by the Chairman of Yakurr Local Government Area Council, Ubi Itam Ettah.
In a telephone chat with crossriverwatch, Obol Lejumana said: “People are still gathered in front of my shop now. It happened since ten o’clock this morning. The Chairman of the Local Government Council Ubi Itam came with them. I saw him by myself. He was running after me and pointing at my shop before the boys came and started the destruction.
“I had to run away and escape. I used to be close to the Chairman but now I say I don’t want to work with him again and his plan is to kill me. He has bought things and brought for me but I refused but he wants to destroy me. They were more than twenty boys with cutlasses and bottles. I don’t know if they carried gun but I did not see a gun. They destroyed all my shop. I have told the police and they have sent a photographer and cameraman to come and take the photo and the video. I don’t know what this man want me to do. My life if not safe”
Eye witnesses say properties worth hundreds of thousands were destroyed in the senseless violence.
Mr. Willie is a former Councillor representing Biko-Biko in Yakurr Local Government Legislative Council.
He alleges that the attack may not be unconnected with his support for the position of some PDP stalwarts in the local government who are opposed to the leadership of the Party Caucus by a member of the House of Representatives, Bassey Eko Ewa. Honorable Ewa is representing Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Recently some group of PDP members led by Chief Akin Ricketts, the embattled State Commissioner of Information, Barrister Wilfred Okpo Usani and other heavyweights passed a vote of no confidence on the leadership of Honorable Ewa of the Yakurr Local Government Area caucus of the PDP.
Obol Lejumana claims that there was palpable tension in Ugep town yesterday when Hon. Bassey Eko Ewa stormed the town in a convoy of well armed Police Officers and Soldiers to attend the chieftaincy capping ceremony of Professor Emeritus Alexander Ofem apparently to call off the bluff of threats from the opposite faction of PDP to deal with him if he ventures into Ugep. However the ceremony went on peacefully without any incident.
But in a telephone chat with Hon. Bassey Ewa, he told crossriverwatch that “I cannot imagine anyone connecting me to that kind of a thing. Professor Ofem invited me a long time ago as the Chairman of the occasion of his chieftaincy coronation. So I attended the event not to spite anyone but to honor a long time friend and supporter on his great day.
“I did not bring any policeman along with me to Ugep. I am the representative of the Ugep people in the House of Representatives. I don’t need to go there with armed security. I was elected by them. What happened was that, after the chieftaincy ceremony, I had an empowerment program for my constituents in my village. I had invited my corporate friends to assist me in empowering my people and Chevron bought one hundred sewing machines for onward distribution to my people.
“Chevron sent a delegation from Abuja and Port Harcourt to join me in delivering the machines to my people and the Port Harcourt delegation of the company, for obvious security reasons, came with a pilot vehicle and armed security personnel to protect their staff. It did not have anything to do with me. So that was how armed policemen came about”.
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