Why I Cannot Congratulate Senator Ben Ayade By Okoi Obono-Obla
Concession to defeat is good virtue of a good sportsman/sportswoman. When President Jonathan concedes to defeat in the presidential election everybody commended him for being an exemplary leader.
However, one can only concede to the defeat by an opponent when his opponent wins clean.
Last governorship election in the State was characterised by mindless violence, brigandage, thuggery and intimidation perpetrated by the Peoples Democratic Party against the supporters of All Progressives Congress and Labour Party backed by the Cross River State Government in collusion with the Police and the INEC to compromise the integrity of the electoral process.
In Yala Local Government Area, several of supporters of the APC were arrested and are still under incarceration by a compromised Police Force at the prompting of the PDP. One of the APC supporters arrested on a trumped charge was a Youth leader and activist, Prince Obok Henry. He was taken to Calabar and detained by the Police till yesterday (15th April 2015) when he was released.
In Mkpani, Yakurr Local Government Area, several persons were shot dead by armed thugs recruited from Calabar South Local Government Area by the PDP candidate in the State Assembly election, Eteng Jones from the area.
The thugs went on rampage when their effort to snatch electoral materials from officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission was frustrated by vigilant members of the community. This angered them and they started shooting sporadically. People started running for their lives.
The bandits made an attempt to forcefully enter the fenced residence of the former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Clement David Ebri but failed when some soldiers intervened and chased them away. Two people were killed and many houses burnt by the bandits.
Also, in Ajere, Ekori, Yakurr Local Government Area, the PDP House of Representatives Candidate, Honourable Bassey Eko Ewa led a team of Police Officers and hoodlums to the Ajere INEC collation Centre and abducted the APC State Assembly, Sunday Eteng and whisked him off away to a secret location where he was brutalised and beaten up.
Three of Mr. Eteng’s supporters were also illegally arrested by these Police Officers and hoodlums employed by Honourable Bassey Eko Ewa. They are currently under detention in the Divisional Police Station, Ugep since Saturday the 11th April, 2015.
Ekori, a large community in Yakurr Local Government Area has being a flash point of violence always masterminded by PDP activists with the solid backing of the Government of Cross River State led by Governor Liyel Imoke and Honourable Bassey Eko Ewa. Honourable Bassey Eko Ewa is largely regarded as a protégé of Governor Imoke.
On the 11th April, 2015, Honourable Bassey Eko Ewa employed violence and intimidation to stop people in his Ward (Ntan) from exercising their right to vote for candidates of their choice. Those who wanted to vote for parties other the PDP were prevented by partisans and loyalists of Honourable Eko Ewa.
The violence and intimidation of adherents of the APC and Labour Party during the governorship and State Assembly elections was widespread in the State.
The Card Reader which by INEC guidelines was meant to be used to accredit voters in order to authenticate their PVCS was in most polling units illegally discarded by officials of INEC in collusion with PDP.
This paved the way for the massive rigging that took place in most of the polling units in the State.
Undeniably the governorship and State Assembly elections in the State cannot be said to be free, fair, transparent and credible.
Decidedly the elections in the State were a sham and a charade. The result of Senator Ayade cannot be allowed be stand by men of good conscience.
The same crude tactics that the PDP has always employed to win every election since 1999 in the State reared its head again manifested in the just concluded Presidential, National Assembly and Governorship and Assembly elections in the State.
So, I cannot in good conscience congratulate the purported winner of the Governorship election in Cross River State.
This is why I am totally confounded that the APC governorship candidate would hurriedly congratulate Senator Ayade ever when those who supporters him are still languishing under Police detention incited by the PDP.