Gunmen Invade Cross River Ministry of Youths to Snatch Election Materials

In Breaking News, Politics, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

Some of the arrested Akansoko youths at the ministry premises
Some of the arrested Akansoko youths at the ministry premises

Following the intervention of the Cross River State Ministry of Youth and Sports in the crisis rocking the Akansoko Youth Council, AYC in Akpabuyo LGA occasioned by a petition to the Honorable Commissioner, Mr. Patrick Ugbe by four village heads and eight youths of the community, elections earlier scheduled for the 11th day of February 2014, to elect a new executive council for the youth group was rescheduled for Friday March 28, 2014 at the Ministry’s compound.

The elections were however truncated after men of the Nigeria Police, Criminal Investigation Department, CID stormed the election venue forcing everyone to sit on the ground while many others were handcuffed and taken to Diamond Hill, the Cross River Police Command headquarters for further investigation.

The Police action follows the Saturday 21st March 2014 invasion of the ministry by armed men to snatch election materials that were being housed by the ministry. The gunmen were said to have invaded the ministry and disrupted the earlier scheduled election and holding staff of the ministry hostage for over 30 minutes before forcibly taking away the electoral materials.

The violence was also extended to Akansoko where the youths were waiting for the election materials as two operatives of the State Security Service, SSS were badly manhandled by some youths of the community on the assumption that they were there to aid the cancellation of the election.

According to the Ministry’s Youth Affairs Director, Bar. John Kejim “On the first proposed day for the election we told them that the election is to commence by 10am prompt and that it was going to last for just 2 hours, on that day when the electoral officials came we decided to hand over the materials to them as planned but they refused collecting them insisting that the ministry should be in possession of the materials until we arrive the election venue.

“We had no option at this point than to hold on to them because all we wanted was a peaceful election but on that day when we were about to set out for Akansoko the venue of the election, some youths came here armed with guns creating a rowdy scene saying the election should not take place.

“They held the security man with the materials at gun point and snatched the materials from him and dashed into a taxi painted with the Cross River state government approved color but the plate number was unknown”.

Speaking to CrossRiverWatch the Village Head of Ikot Etim Effiom, Akansoko Clan Akpabuyo LGA, Chief Edet Etim Effiong accused the Akansoko Clan Head, Chief Etinyin Bassey Effiong of planting his son, Prince Effiom Bassey Effiong as the AYC president for eight years against the two years tenure approved by their union’s constitution.

He maintained that since his community is the contact area of the United Cement Company, UNICEM and that the cement giant relates with the community through the youth president and the clan head, the duo are using their offices to sell slots meant for the community’s sons and daughters, “UNICEM does give scholarships once a year to 30 secondary school students and five tertiary institution students but as I speak to you majority of the beneficiaries are foreigners”.

Reacting to the allegations against him and his father, Prince Effiong Bassey said he was only serving at the capacity of acting president of the Akansoko Youth Council for about five years now.

“Before we came up with the AYC I founded an organization known as Akansoko Youth Development Association, AYDA which comprises of both indigenes and non indigenes alike after which some bigger boys in the community whom we all have respect for accosted me and my cadre that it is a good move we’ve made but we failed to incorporate them that are at the helm of affairs.

“We took them seriously and agreed to form AYC for only indigenes and I was made the acting president saddled with the duty of registering the union and providing it with a constitution then conduct election which I fulfilled in 2012”, he said.

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