By Ushang Ewa
More fights and vandalism have been reported from Obudu local government area of northern Cross River State ahead of the August 11, 2018 bye-election into the state house of assembly to replace late lawmaker, Mr. Stephen Ukpukpen.
Images obtained by CrossRiverWatch shows that several vehicles have been vandalised due to fights and reprisals by thugs and gangstars recruited by the two major parties; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
At least two have sustained gun wounds including a woman who was shot in her buttocks CrossRiverWatch gathered. Over a dozen have sustained varying degrees of injuries.
Sources say the APC has the support of several local gangs while the PDP had about three buses loaded with gangstars suspected to be members of the Supreme Vikings Confraternity popularly called ‘Baggars’ on their campaign team.
These gangstars CrossRiverWatch understand, have been armed by members of both parties.
Meanwhile, no fewer than two vehicles and about four motorcycles have been vandalised as the campaigns are expected to peak on Thursday midnight.
The APC say the attacks are sponsored with several reporting attacks on their homes.
The PDP is said to be purchasing loyalty through the gift of cars and motorcycles popularly known as ‘Okada’ with the Chief of Staff to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Mr. Martin Orim using a foundation he founded in honor of his late father to woo voters through a medical outreach.
The spending is said to backed by Mr. Ayade whom sources say views the election as a direct fight with former ally and APC guber aspirant, Mr. Venatius Ikem who is said to have produced his party’s candidate.
Mr. Ayade was influential in the emergence of the PDP’s candidate, CrossRiverWatch gathered.
The APC meanwhile have deployed a different approach by selling the presence and origin of their candidate, Mr. Bendebel Ishamali who hails from Bebuabong.
The PDP candidate and widow to the late lawmaker, Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen is yet to appear in any campaign for herself as there are concerns she does not understand the people she is aiming to represent.