In the last few days, several headlines in Nigerian newspapers have reported on a grant of application by a US federal court in the state of Georgia instituted by Gov. Akpabio of Akwa IbomState against two US based indigenes of the state, Messrs Thompson Essien and Nicholas Edet and their organization, Ibibio People’s Union (IPU). According to an Uyo based Weekly Insight newspaper published last Sunday, the two gentlemen are asked to “produce documents and information, and to provide sworn testimonies, relating to criminal investigations into their activities in the United States and AkwaIbom State” regarding March 22, 2011 violence that claimed twelve lives and caused “extensive” damage to property in the state including the state campaign headquarters of President Jonathan. The motivation of the state governor is clear assummarized in this report’s headline: Akpabio Tackles Opposition Forces Abroad… For him it is worth spending millions of dollars of the people’s money to chase shadows instead of investing in people-oriented programs.
The event to March 22, 2011 was a disaster waiting to happen. The public was aware of it, names were named and some of them are still on the state payroll. The state Director of State Security Service (SSS) was notified of it ahead of it eight days earlier yet he did nothing to abort the disaster.
In a letter dated March 14, 2011, Bar. Francis Ekanem, hadpredicted just eight days before then. in the letter to the State Director of State Security Service (SSS) based on instructions of his clients, [Our instructions are that] “the Peoples Democratic Party (hereinafter called, "the PDP") led government of Governor Godswill Akpabio in AKWA IBOM STATE has turned mere political campaigns into a harvest of bloodshed. Until the flag off of the ACN Campaigns on Wednesday the 9th of March 2011, there was relative peace in Akwa Ibom State, save for the sporadic incidents of kidnappings, assassinations and armed robberies which have been the feature of the State since 2008. That condition enabled the PDP to launch her campaigns freely and without molestation in several Local Government Areas of the State.” He added, “The PDP and the government suddenly turned violent and accentuated the worsened state of insecurity in Akwa Ibom State, once the ACN joined the race.”
That letter directly implicated the former military administration to the state, retired Air Commodore Indongesit Nkanga who was the director general of Akpabio’s re-election campaign. “Following the unprecedented crowd that showed support to the ACN at the flag off, a jittery Governor Godswill Akpabiotelephoned the Director General of his re-election campaign, the former military Administrator of the State, Air CommodoreIdongesit Nkanga and chided him for misleading the PDP and the Governor himself that the ACN had no support in the State…At the end, they both reasoned that they had lost the forthcoming election and that the only way to stem off defeat was to kill the ACN Governorship candidate, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe.”
When Sen. Akpanudoedehe and ACN campaign train arrived atIkot Ekpene to address supporters they were ambushed. WithACN/Sen. Akpanudoedehe supporters were killed, a chain re-action followed. That started what the state governor now crosses the Ocean several thousands of miles away to chase down his number one critics to “depose” them in the United States in a matter they had nothing to do with it. The letter to the state director of SSS warned of many hotspots including IkotEkpene where the violent ambush started. Posted below is a copy of the letter posted on Ibom_Forum on Tuesday March 15, 2011. Please pay particular attention to the outline titled: IKOT EKPENE, ESSIEN UDIM, IKA, ORUK ANAM AND UKANAFUN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS.
When you are done with reading this letter make your own conclusion as to who really masterminded the event of March 22, 2011 and who should have been investigated and prosecuted long time ago.
FRANCIS EFFANGA & CO.
LEGAL PRACTITIONERS & NOTARIES
14th March 2011
Our Ref: ACN. FEC. O1. 03. 2011
ORIGINATING OFFICE : LAGOS.
THE STATE DIRECTOR,
STATE SECURITY SERVICES,
UYO – AKWA IBOM STATE.
THE VIOLENCE AND CONTINUING DETERIORATION OF SECURITY AHEAD OF 2011 ELECTION IN AKWA IBOM STATE.
We are Solicitors to the ACTION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA inAkwa Ibom State hereinafter called "The ACN" a party registered with the INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION, INEC.
Our instructions are that the Peoples Democratic Party (hereinafter called, "the PDP") led government of GovernorGodswill Akpabio in AKWA IBOM STATE has turned mere political campaigns into a harvest of bloodshed.
Until the flag off of the ACN Campaigns on Wednesday the 9th of March 2011, there was relative peace in Akwa Ibom State, save for the sporadic incidents of kidnappings, assassinations and armed robberies which have been the feature of the State since 2008.
That condition enabled the PDP to launch her campaigns freely and without molestation in several Local Government Areas of the State.
The PDP and the government suddenly turned violent and accentuated the worsened state of insecurity in Akwa IbomState, once the ACN joined the race.
Following the unprecedented crowd that showed support to the ACN at the flag off, a jittery Governor Godswill Akpabiotelephoned the Director General of his re-election campaign, the former military Administrator of the State, Air CommodoreIdongesit Nkanga and chided him for misleading the PDP and the Governor himself that the ACN had no support in the State.
At the end, they both reasoned that they had lost the forthcoming election and that the only way to stem off defeat was to kill the ACN Governorship candidate, Senator John JamesAkpanudoedehe.
This they did, in spite of the unambiguous warning of President Jonathan to them that he did not want to become President on the blood of Nigerians.
We are instructed further that, so much blood of Akwa Ibompeople have been spilled by the government in the State already.
This is the satanic plan that must not be trivialized on the altar of proof.
The two conspirators would deny this in public but we are instructed to inform you that this plan must not be allowed to blossom. It must be nibbed in the bud.
We are further instructed that unless this is done, anarchy and a bloody revolution would be inevitable.
Indeed, the Government refused the ACN the use of the UYO township stadium, the venue of PRESIDENT Jonathan's campaign less than 48 hours before. Only the firm intervention of the State Director of the State Security Services convinced Governor Akpabio to allow the use of the stadium. But in all other campaigns of the ACN in the Local Government Areas in the State, the party is denied designated State venues as would be shown hereunder.
So far the party would avoid confrontation and opt for less advertising venues. The resistance of the ACN in the IbionoIbom Local Government Area of the State led to violent confrontation which was only resolved by very responsible policing by the State police command led by a very respectable police commissioner Mr. Sanni Magaji. The police commissioner has issued signals to police commands in the State to offer the parties a level playing field, but this is severely spurned by the government and the ruling party which continues to deny the ACN designated campaign venues duly applied for. The government has fouled the political air and simply will not condone a smooth ACN rally in the Local Government Areas of the State.
ETIM EKPO LOCAL GOVERNMNET AREA
We are instructed that in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, the ACN congregated to open a new secretariat of the party at about 12 noon on the 11th of March 2011 in UTU NSEHE/ABAT boundary both in WARD 1 of the Local Government Area.
The intention of the party was to hoist the flag of the party and plant their sign board on the office.
The party's candidate for the Abak Federal Constituency Mr. UDUAKOBONG OKPO of ABAT Town was there.
So was the State Security Services officer attached to Etim EkpoLocal Government Area and other party faithfuls.
As the ceremony kicked off, several youths emerged from the house of Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem, the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development in the government of Governor Godwill Akpabio, a few metres away, with guns, axes, sticks, matchetes, hammers, knives, bottles and other violent weapons and ran down to the gathering. Among them was NSIMA IBANGA, the PDP CHAPTER CHAIRMAN in ETIM EKPO. They began to matchet the ACN supporters, beat up on them, shoot and hit them with hammer.
Many ran away but some stood their grounds and resisted.
Many are at the point of death now.
Soon arrived soldiers of the Nigerian Army, said to be guarding a SETRACO construction site nearby.
The soldiers ordered away the ACN supporters claiming they received a phone call that ACN was hoisting the flag and putting up their sign board on the commissioner's house.
When the ACN officers explained to the soldiers that they were commissioning their office and pointed out the commissioner's house to the soldiers, the soldiers asked them to continue their ceremony and stood back to provide them with security.
At the end of the meeting, everybody including the soldiers left for home.
But at 2 am the following day, men dressed in mobile police uniform and armed with Ak 47 riffles raided the ACN office. They shot randomly. When one ESANG UKO, the PRESIDENT OF ABAT Town Youths woke up to find out what was happening, he saw the following indigenes of UTU NSEHE village:
1.NSIMA IBANGA (PDP WARD 1 CHAIRMAN ) and
2. IMEH IMEH IDUNG among the raiders .
He also saw the following indigenes of ABAT Town:
1.Mr. UWEM OTU
2. UDUAK EMMZASON and
3 OKPONGETE EKURIKPA amongst them.They shot ESSANG UDOFA who pointed his touch light at them for ESANG UKO to see. The bullet ripped through his shoulders. He was rushed to hospital that same morning. They then removed the flag and signboard of the ACN and carried them away.
Our further instruction is that Commissioner ENOIDEM had always maintained that the ACN should never attempt to hoist its flag or plant a signed board in that village.
He warned the village head, chief SUNDAY HAM UDOAKA ( alias AKPAN AHAM) that the day that happened, he would pull down the flag, kill those who did and burn down the house where it was hoisted.
The PDP and government functionaries enjoy the free rein because even the authority of the police in the area has been denuded.
We are instructed that the nearest police station is in front of the house of Rtd DIG Udom Ekpoudom who of course caused it to be established.
Our information is that he is a core loyalist of GovernorGodswill Akpabio and had instructed that the police should not receive any report from the ACN.
Accordingly, formal report from the ACN could only be "smuggled" into the police file and never freely.
As at the time of our instructions, commissioner Enoidem has already rushed to lodge a report on the incident against the ACN, at the said police station of course.
Unless your hallowed office makes a determined effort to track down the culprits in this instruction therefore, there is no doubt that the elections in Akwa Ibom State as would also be noted in the under listed Local Government Areas would be a full blown war.
IBIONO IBOM LOCAL GOVERNMNET AREA
Our instruction in this Local Government Area are that in the course of the campaigns, the PDP led by MR. Bassey Albert, the commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State, visited IKPANYA WARD 11 IBIONO IBOM Local Government Area and held a meeting with his party faithfuls in a primary school thereat.
The PDP WARD 11 Chairman there, one OKON AKPAFIN informed the commissioner in his speech on the occasion that the IKPANYA ward 11 always enjoyed a one party status but that the WARD CHAIRMAN of the ACN MR. OFONIME MARK formerly of the PDP had brought in the ACN, into the WARD. He then asked the commissioner to counsel on how best to deal with that situation. The commissioner in response, instructed that anybody who convened a meeting of the ACN ,should be stoned to death and that the government would handle the consequences .
The ACN WARD 11 CHAIRMAN, OFONIME MARK heard this clearly because he lived just by the school and the loudspeaker used was really blaring ,
He further heard the commissioner add that if he (OfonimeMark) came out on the day of the election, he should be arrested.
Our information is that the commissioner is already very antagonistic to the ACN WARD CHAIRMAN for soon after that visit he accused the ACN WARD CHAIRMAN of sending him a threat message, an accusation which was meant to lay the foundation for his arrest even early.
It is our instruction that on the 11th of March 2011 when the ACN held its campaign rally at Ikpa, Ibiono Ibom, in defiance of the government's refusal for them to use the venue, the commissioner, commissioned youths with axes, matchets, bottle and guns to disrupt the rally.
The ACN ward 11 Chairman was stabbed all over with bottle and clubbed on the head also.
He lives to tell the story only on account of the excellent intervention of the police leadership earlier alluded to. Many were wounded and are receiving treatment now in the hospital.
Our further information is that the commissioner is chasing one OMA JEREMIAH a friend of the WARD 11 Chairman around with the police claiming he destroyed the PDP campaign office at OKO ITA , the headquarters of the Local Government Council Area.
That same day and at the same Oko Ita, one ARCHIBONG OKOKON EDET of the ACN , an indigene of Ifa Atai village inUyo, became marooned from the convoy of the ACN by some mechanical damage to his motor cycle. He stopped to repair his cycle.
The PDP youths caught up with him and severely beat up on him.
They seized his motor cycle and phone and went away leaving him for death. He survives to tell the story also courtesy of the gallantry of the State police command.
The PDP mob led by Ikpongke Dan an indigene of MbiakpanAtan village in Ward 6 and Savior Uwa of Ikot Ada Idem village in Ward 5 of this Local Government Area have vandalised the billboard of SEN. John Udoedehe, the Governorship candidate of the ACN erected same day in that Ward 6.
ITU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Our information is that, PDP elements armed to the teeth prevented the ACN rally at the Civic Centre in the Local Government Headquarters at Mbak-Atai, Itu inspite of an earlier application for the venue.
To save lives, the ACN opted for a Church venue to hold their rally.
Our client instructs that this shall not always be so.
ABAK LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
Instruction from our client in this Local Government Area is that the PDP has sown Mobile Police uniform and prospects to bring in kitted warriors from Ika Local Government Area of the State reputed to have fought boundary wars with the Igbos, to disrupt the ACN rally there.
This is expected to follow government's refusal of any venue the ACN could ask for.
Obviously, there shall be several loss of lives in this one.
Our client is afraid that she could be pushed to the wall here and what could happen can only be imagined.
IKOT EKPENE, ESSIEN UDIM, IKA, ORUK ANAM AND UKANAFUN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS.
Our instructions in these Local Government Areas are that the PDP led by Emmanuel Enoidem, the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Renewal, Sunday Ibanga, the Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area PDP Chapter Chairman,
Nse Ntuen, the Essien Udim Local Government Council Chairman, and Etido Inyang, Governor Akpabio's Special Adviser on Technical matters, all of PDP, have concluded plans to levy war against the ACN.
In a meeting held a few days before this instruction at Ukana, the Governor's village at Essien Udim Local Government Area, the parties agreed to vote over #5billion naira in arms and ammunition to wage war against the ACN in these Local Government Areas.
Here they do not want the ACN to campaign at all, even in alternative venues.
Certainly, the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be interested in this.
Should this happen, our client ask, would the April elections still be considered as elections?
ESIT EKET LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
We are instructed here that the Council Chairman, one MrVictor Bassey publicly proclaimed to the delight of his guests, the wife of Governor Akpabio, the paramout ruler and other dignitaries in a reception, that no other party would be allowed to campaign in that local government area. This our client says, is on video. He added that such would be considered a crime and treated as such.
ORON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
The Commissioner for Youth and Sports , one Oyong Asuquohas already warned off the ACN campaign team.
At the burial of former Chairman of the PDP in Akwa IbomState, late Tony Emenyi a few month's ago, he successfully turned back the luxurious buses and other vehicles directed by the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attahto convey mourners to the venue.
They were apprehended, prevented from entering Oron town at the Uyo – Oron road in Akwa Ibom State by men instructed by Commissioner Asuquo.
They were assaulted, raided, robbed and were forced back.
Commissioner Oyong vows to repeat this on the day the ACN campaigns at Oron.
Our client's final instruction is that the activities of the PDP and her government in Akwa Ibom State are clearly calculated to overawe the State. They are lawless, reckless, and bloodthirsty.They have no love for the people of Akwa Ibom and would do anything to keep power. Nothing, not even life would be so sacred to prevent their cravings..
Surely, no free and fair election can take place under this atmosphere.
Our client is aware that under the Electoral Act, the INEC has powers to void elections in violent areas.
However, this will be grossly unfair to parties who are victims of violence particularly in areas they are popular.
We are therefore under instructions to ask that you apprehend all violent elements in government and place them under security watch.
The ACN must not be allowed to be pushed to the wall and tempted to react in kind.
Moreover, the party may not be able to rein in supporters who could no longer tolerate the excesses of the PDP and her government.
Our final instructions are that we ask and we do hereby ask that all venues the ACN ask to use for campaigns be completely secured for use of the party, by all the security agencies in Nigeria, particularly where the PDP herself had used the venues, and that adequate security be provided for all parties equally and fairly in the campaigns.
It is certainly not fair to assign the governor and his aides a platoon of security while assigning light security to our client's supporters and encouraging them to resort to their own devices.
Our client sends you her warmest regards.
For: Francis & Co
Francis Efanga, Esq.
Adams writes from San Francisco