By Itiunbe Atunka
Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) clashed yesterday in Ohong community of Obudu local government area of northern Cross River State leaving several injured.
Both parties, alongside the ADC have fielded candidates for the August 11, 2018 bye-election to replace late lawmaker, Stephen Ukpukpen in the State House of Assembly.
And, CrossRiverWatch gathered that the APC were campaigning in Ohong community when the PDP campaign train which was returning from Ibong community, less than five kilometers away met them and a fight ensued.
It is unclear what really led to the fisticuffs but another aide to Governor Ben Ayade on youth mobilisation, Mr. Emmanuel Utande who was in the PDP campaign team accused the APC members of blocking the road.
“PDP had no campaign in Ohong yesterday. Our supporters where on their way from Ibong where we had our campaign only to come and meet APC having a campaign in Ohong and they had (the) road blocked,” Utande said.
He continued: “This in turn resulted to a fight. Although some of our supporters had minor injuries but they are fine now.”
CrossRiverWatch could not get any APC stalwart to comment as at press time but a gubernatorial aspirant of the party, Mr. Venatius Ikem took to Facebook to alleged that Mr. Ayade has dispatched police vans to Obudu to arrest APC chieftains.
He claimed there were attacks in the homes of the party’s candidate and other members.
“Yesterday was not such a good day for him because the attack by his thugs on the APC village square meeting at Ohong was not successful. The over night shootings and attacks at the residences of Ukeh Ikem, Adah Ishamali, Fidelis Iblakong, Moses Utsu chapter chairman of APC, Hon. Victor Afebende and my humble self with several injured from gunshots has not deterred APC leaders. Not even arrest will intimidate us,” Ikem wrote on Sunday afternoon.
He added that: “Ayade will be made to appreciate the reality facing him beginning from Obudu that he is a one term Governor! Not even Obudu people are prepared to support him or anything associated with him. My advise to him is to stop intimidating his own people because he has become a laughing stock everywhere we have been to on the campaign train.”
As at press time, local police authorities were yet to release any statement on the clash.
In a related development, the Chief of Staff to Mr. Ayade, Mr. Martin’s Orim presented a car to the ward chairman of the PDP in Ukpe ward.
The campaign train which also hit Alege/Uban ward saw Mr. Orim gift motorcycles to stakeholders and supporters.
Mr. Orim, through a foundation he founded in honor of his father, the G.F.O Orim foundation also provided free medical services to residents of both wards.