28th March, 2011
The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has strongly condemned the arrest of the governorship candidate of the ACN in Akwa Ibom State, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe and the continued persecution and mass arrest of ACN members in Akwa Ibom State.
While coming down hard on the role of the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, the party says that the PDP-led Federal Government and the Akwa Ibom State government should stop instigating violence and employing such as an excuse to clamp down on the opposition in various parts of the country.
In a release in Lagos, signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party said the violence in Akwa Ibom was instigated by the PDP in an attempt to further their desperate bid to remain in power by all means.
It warns the PDP to play by the rules and not believe it would be allowed to intimidate and overwhelm others by force, while calling for the immediate removal of Ringim as the Inspector General of Police given his complicit role in furthering PDPâ€™s dirty political interests all over the country.
â€œNigerians are witnesses to the desperate antics of the PDP in the face of mounting odds against its unproductive stay in power. For now, this desperate tactics is best expressed through dangerous hunting of the opposition in virtually all the states controlled by the PDP, to ensure they donâ€™t campaign and pose a danger to PDPâ€™s penchant to steal election results.
“What particularly irks us is the open and bizarre bias the police and the security agencies are showing on these deadly efforts and the readiness of the police to live up to their traditional notorious role as the enforcer of the dirty will of the PDP.
“The Akwa Ibom issue as well as many other reported cases of police complicity in promoting the bestial interests of the PDP are so rife that one wonders if the Hafiz Ringim police will not stand on the way of Nigerians who want a free and fair election next month given the curious roles he has elected to play in the period leading to this important election and the election process itself.
â€œWe are dismayed that Hafiz Ringim and the police have massed at the side of the oppressors, the perpetrators and instigators of the Akwa Ibom crisis and are diligently prosecuting the interest of the PDP against the ACN, which was first attacked and several of its members were killed.
“Hafiz Ringim and his men, in carhoot with the Federal Government and the PDP have taken up the battle of the PDP and employing it as an excuse to arrest, detain, persecute and threaten ACN members in Akwa Ibom State.
“This is totally unacceptable to us as well as the mischievous attempt to grant the PDP the license to commit crime against its opponents while regarding any effort to question their scruples as treasonable.Â We wonder how the police could be trusted to serve as impartial security agency during the coming election when it has shown such bizarre partiality that had seen it take up the dark mission of the aggressor.â€œ
Igbokwe further stated: “We are happy that most Nigerians are conversant with the happenings in Akwa Ibom when PDP thugs waylaid and attacked the governorship convoy of the ACN and got ten members of the ACN killed. The smashing of the protest against this killing provoked the Uyo incident where properties were burnt. But to the awe of everybody, the Presidency has given Governor Akpabio who is fingered as the instigator of the crisis, the leverage to go and hunt down the governorship candidate, the officials and members of the ACN and the police and other security agencies have been mobilised for this role.
â€œIt is obvious that Governor Akpabio and the PDP have weighed the situation on the ground and have realised that they cannot win the next election or be allowed to steal it as in previous times and therefore resorted to the use of victimization, killing, intimidation and other known brute tactics of the PDP to take out the ACN candidate, Akpan Udoedehe. But what should be surprising is the readiness of the police and other security agencies as well as the presidency to quickly buy into this wicked plot as we are all seeing in Akwa Ibom State.
“The naked and disgraceful conduct of the police and the Inspector General of Police is leading us to believe they cannot discharge their duties to Nigerians creditably during the coming election. We warn that the PDP should stop thinking it can be allowed to force its way to power again and we warn the police to realise it is a security organ for all Nigerians, funded by tax payerâ€™s money and not the enforcement wing of the PDP.
“We are hard put to say that the Inspector General of Police, Haffiz Ringim woefully failed to protect the interests of every party in Akwa Ibom State and rather sees himself as the chief enforcer of PDPâ€™s obnoxious intents in the respective states. We agree with the position of our great party, the ACN that Mr. Ringim cannot be trusted to be just and fair to all parties in the present contest and that he should therefore resign or be removed from office considering the critical nature of the coming election.
â€œLagos ACN is in strong solidarity with the Akwa Ibom ACN and its candidate in this moment of contrived plot to suppress them. We are solidly behind them in this period of desperate struggle by the PDP, Haffiz Ringim and the Police to persecute and intimidate them out of the legitimate and popular struggle to replace the corrupt, insensitive and desperate PDP government in the state. We urge the teeming ACN members and supporters in Akwa Ibom State and indeed the good people of Akwa Ibom State to remain firm, resolute and undaunted in their resolve to replace the PDP government in the state in the coming election.
â€œWe call for the immediate and unconditional release of Udoudehe and other members of the ACN who are being unjustly held in Akwa Ibom State by the PDP government and the police and the arrest of the criminal masterminds in Akwa Ibom PDP who planned, provoked and executed the present crisis as a way of stopping the ACN push for the state.”