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Group condemns police release of arrested thugs in Akwa Ibom, alleges deployment of soldiers to rig elections

By kazeem Adekunle

A Civil Society Organization (CSO), the Elections Transparency Group (ETG) has condemned the roles of Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge of elections in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Ibrahim Kaoje in the release of

over 160 suspected political thugs allegedly brought to the State from Edo State.

The group, which also decried the invasion of the State by soldiers, alleged that soldiers from the 13th Brigade in Calabar, Cross River State were already being moved to Akwa Ibom State in about twenty trucks with clear instruction to aid hijack of local government result sheets by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday.

It said the APC federal government as well as CP Ibrahim Kaoje must be held responsible should there be any breakdown of law and order in Akwa Ibom State.

In a release on Thursday, by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Kazeem Adekunle, the ETG alleged that the thugs that were apprehended by eagle-eyed youths in the State were released at about 1am today, and are now being camped at the campaign office of the APC governorship candidate, Nsima Ekere.

ETG, which described Akwa Ibom as a peaceful State, said; “Our officers that have been in the State since Monday have reported that there is no threat whatsoever to the peace of the State, except Tuesday and yesterday’s influx of political thugs from Edo State.

“Even with this influx of thugs, many of whom have been apprehended by vigilant youths of the State, there is assurance from the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel that security of lives and properties will be guaranteed before, during and after the elections just as it was done during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.”

It said by releasing the arrested thugs and handing them over to the APC leaders, the police under Mr. Kaoje was proving to the world that it was working with firm instruction to subvert the will of the people of Akwa Ibom State.

The group called on the international community, election observers and particularly the General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) led National Peace Committee to focus their attention on Akwa Ibom State, having been tagged as one of the States to be forcefully grabbed by the APC.