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IPAC alleges arms stockpile ahead of Cross River re-run

Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Cross River chapter, has raised the alarm over alleged plan by candidates to disrupt the Ekureku 1 and 2 election re-run for Abi/Yakurr federal constituency with hired miscreants and weapons.

In a statement signed by the Secretary, Mr. Castro Ezama, in Calabar yesterday, IPAC accused two top politicians of planning to use private security agents to unleash terror on voters during the Saturday, January 25 re-run.

In September last year, the electoral tribunal in Calabar had cancelled the election of Dr. Alex Egbona of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Abi/Yakurr federal constituency.

The statement read, “The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Cross River chapter, views with utmost concern the building tension arising from preparations for the Ekureku 1 and 2 election re-run for the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency, between John Lebo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Egbona of APC, slated to hold on Saturday, January 25, 2020.

“Our deep worries stem from the curious observation that the two contestants involved have allegedly amassed an army of miscreants and weaponry, after engaging hordes of private security personnel, for the purpose of conducting surveillance and possibly unleashing terror on perceived opponents, where they deem fit.

“We rise in unison to strongly condemn such moves, as they were in steep violation of our laws, for the fact that our constitution rests the burden of securing lives and property on state agents like the police and other state actors.”

While calling on the Commissioner of Police, Nkereuwem Akpan, to wade into the matter, IPAC added, “We are aware that some of the candidates have mobilised police security from Abuja and other climes for their protection. Let it be known that mobilisation of security can only be deployed by the Commissioner of Police, Cross River State.

“May we warn that the political parties’ code of conduct, which is binding to all candidates, irrespective of the political divide, will be implemented to the letter by IPAC.

“Free and fair elections, one-man-one-vote will be sacrosanct and non-negotiable. We shall not hesitate to call for a cancellation of the said elections and call in the security agencies to deal with anybody involved, no matter how highly-placed, according to the political parties’ Code of Conduct 2019 as amended.”

The CP had on Monday supervised the signing of a peace accord by the 14 parties contesting in the re-run.

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