Etim Ekpimah, Uyo
The state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Ini Okopido, and the APC National Youth Caucus Chairman, Mr Iniobong John, have blamed the Peoples Democratic Party for the attempted attack on the former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, in his country home at Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
A statement by the media aide of the senator, Mr Anietie Ekong, in Uyo on Tuesday, confirmed the attack. He explained that 10 unidentified gunmen stormed Akpabio’s residence and shot sporadically causing a stampede among those who were attending a crucial political meeting in the house.
Ekong, who eulogised the security operatives for their quick intervention that halted the attack, however, noted that a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr Udom Ekpoudom, was seen making frantic calls for increased security to help repel the attack.
Okopido said the “unprovoked attack” on Akpabio’s residence was unwarranted.
“The APC family will not tolerate such unwarranted attack on any of her members/leaders. The hoodlums, while shooting sporadically around the environment, robbed passers-by and a nearby petrol station.
“Even though the incidence was promptly reported to the state Commissioner of Police by the retired Deputy Inspector-General, Udom Ekpoudom, who witnessed the attack and the CP responded by sending police reinforcement to the scene, such an action by unguided miscreants is unacceptable and condemnable.
“Politicians should play by the rules to forestall reprisals,” he said.
John said since Akpabio decided to dump the PDP and join forces with the APC to rescue the state from the present government in the state, he had been an object of unwarranted attacks by agents of the state government who saw his defection to the APC as an act of rebellion against the governor.
According to him, sponsoring violent attacks against the senator and any other APC leaders or members in the state would not save the PDP from imminent tsunami.
He said, “We appreciate the police for responding rapidly to the distress call. But the police and other security agencies in the state must be proactive. Security around certain APC operatives in the state must be increased as they may be attacked by PDP hitmen as we are approaching the 2019 polls.”
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, has denied the allegation that suspected gunmen attacked Akpabio’s residence and disrupted a high-profile political meeting on Tuesday night.
Ogunjemilusi stated in Uyo on Wednesday that the meeting lasted till the early hours of Wednesday amid tight security, following a gun scare from about 200 metres to Akpabio’s residence at Ukana Ikot Ntuen, his home town in the Essien Udim Local Government Area.
“Six hoodlums on two motorcycles invaded a fuel station near Akpabio’s house and robbed the pump attendants of the day’s sales and customers.
“It was just a mere coincidence that the incident happened at about 7:30pm on Tuesday, August 21, when the meeting was ongoing at His Excellency’s residence.
“Immediately the hoodlums attacked the filling station, somebody at the meeting called me. The Area Commander and other policemen were drafted to the scene and within minutes, security was restored.
“You know how Ikot Ekpene is with these hoodlums on motorcycles. So, it is just a flash incident of petty thieves robbing a filling station near the residence of His Excellency.
“Even our quick response was applauded by His Excellency when he came out of the meeting to see our men heavily on guard around the area. Nobody should overheat the polity because of politics,” he said.
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