5 voters killed; journalist missing in Akwa Ibom

Five persons have been feared killed in Akwa Ibom State during the governorship and state House of Assembly elections on Saturday.

A reporter with one of the local tabloids, Radar Newspaper, Mr. Aniedi Ukoenang’s whereabouts is unknown.

The killings occurred at Ward 5, Unit 14, Mbiabong Etoi and Shelter Afrique (Uyo); Ndiya in Nsit Ubium; Etim Ekpo, and Ini Local Government Areas of the state.

The reporter was said to have been abducted by the Peoples Democratic Party thugs at Ekpeyong Ufum village, Odoro Ikot clan in Essien Udim LGA.

The Publisher of the tabloid, Mr. Franklyn Isong, confirmed the kidnap of the reporter.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State has announced the boycott of the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in the state.

The decision by the party to call for the boycott and cancellation of the elections followed a reported widespread hijack of electoral materials by thugs and armed fake policemen, suspected to be sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party.

In Uyo, Etinan, Onna, Eket, Nsit Ubium, the five local government areas of Oro, Uruan, Ibiono, Nsit Ibom, Oruknam, among others, report that ballot box diversion, thump printing of ballot papers, characterised the April 11 elections in Akwa Ibom State.

It was also learnt that many centres were denied electoral materials. And in the areas, where they were provided, the figures would not tally with the number of accredited voters.

At Uda Ward 2, Unit 2, Unyenge in Mbo LGA, an INEC ad-hoc worker allegedly hid in the bush when indigenes discovered that he tore the fake result sheets he gave to villagers as he tried to replace the thump printed with original ones.

An indigene, Mfoniso Ekpimah, who spoke with our correspondents, explained that the youths of the area seized the ballot box, tore all the electoral papers and seized the card readers while the INEC ad-hoc worker escaped to an unknown destination in the bush.

The APC governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Umana Umana, said out of 1,571 registered voters, only 450 ballot papers were sent to his polling unit.

He stated that for a long time, voting materials were not brought to his unit and in all the other units in Nsit Ubium LGA.

Umana stated that he received a report that materials had been diverted to the residence of Senator Effiong Bob.

He noted that the action was violently done by thugs, who assaulted agents and INEC officials on their way to deliver the election materials.

Credit: Punch