By crossriverwatch admin
The battle between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC to win votes in the forth coming general election took a different turn in Bedia Village in Obudu Local Government Area recently.
CrossRiverWatch gathered that the Chiefs of the village last Monday, 2nd of February, 2015 played the traditional drum and summoned the entire community to bring to judgment some APC supporters who tied their broom symbol along the major road in the community.
The Chapter Chairman of the APC in Obudu LGA, Mr. Mathias Ugbelishor who incidentally is also from Bedia village told CrossRiverWatch that: “Since we started our campaign, the entire village and the PDP supporters have been attacking our supporters. Our secretariat is located by the road side and we decided to tie our symbol which is the broom in ropes and display them along the road. They physically molested our supporters and threatened that if we don’t remove the brooms the village will summon us and fine us three cows. We did not mind and when my people complained I told them to stay out of trouble.
“True to their threat, they played the drum and summoned us. But when I explained to the village that no one had the right to stop any political party from campaigning or openly displaying their insignia, they brought down their initial fine that they planned and insisted that we must remove the brooms from the road and pay a fine of two cartoons of beer. We paid the fine and the brooms were shared among the chiefs and they all took them home and by implication, they have all become APC members having taken our brooms to their homes.
“But it is sincerely not a good sign for the polity. This kind of hostility against a party that is considered minority and the meddling of traditional institutions into political activities in this manner does not augur well for the future of our community.”
When CrossRiverWatch contacted Chief Ashipu who adjudicated over the matter at the Bedia Village Square, he said the community took the measure to avoid an impending breakdown of law and order.
According to Chief Ashipu, “You know the APC secretariat is located near our boundary with Ohong, just by the road side. The PDP people were scheduled to come to our community the following day for the Angiaba/Begiaka Ward campaign and there were going to come in from that axis where the APC office is located. And with brooms tied all across the road from the entry point into the community, it was clear that they may have been a clash between supporters of the two parties, that is why the community thought it wise to instruct them to remove the brooms from the road and tie them around their office.
“Secondly, the person representing Obudu in the State House of Assembly (Hon. Steve Ukpukpen) is our son from Bedia here and he is a member of PDP. And if other villages in Obudu have been gracious to allow Bedia to produce a member who will be going back for a second term for the first time in the history of Obudu, it will be unfair for them to come for campaign in Steve’s village and the first thing they meet from the boundary is APC brooms. So as a community we also wanted to respect our visitors in the interest of peace and brotherliness.”
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