Andy Esiet, Calabar
The Federal House of Representatives and State House of Assembly primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were on Thursday and Friday marred with violence in some parts of Cross River state.
The violence took place in Obubra, Ugep and Calabar. In Calabar the Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi Federal Constituency primaries at the Cultural Centre on Friday ended in disagreement and violence that led to the death of one person.
The primaries was between the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Joseph Bassey and the past Commissioner for Transport and Marine, Mr Saviour Nyong.
The victim, whose name was given simply as Emman, was said to be a youth leader of ward 7 of Calabar South local government area of the State and was shot by the police that made attempt to scare away the tensed crowd.
Trouble started when one of the candidates allegedly hijacked materials for the primary, a situation which infuriated supporters of the rival aspirants resulting in an altercation among supporters of other rival aspirants, and in the process, the anti-cultism unit of the Police stepped in and in an attempt to restore sanity, shot in the air severaly as delegates, Journalists and others, who were at the venue, scampered for safety.
In the process people were running away from the many gun booms, and Emman rushed to where he parked his vehicle and was begging one of the shooters to allow him carry away his vehicle but was shot instantly and he fell with blood oozing out of his mouth.
Top police sources said the police fired in self defense claiming the victim whose body has been deposited in the morgue had made an attempt to pull out a locally made pistol.
But many persons who witnessed the incident said the deceased was harmless and a victim of circumstance as even the boys who were armed and some with hoods did not do any shooting but ran away in different directions.
The State Police Public Relation Officer, Irene Ugbo said there were hoodlums who came into the cultural centre after the Primaries for House of representatives had been concluded , we don’t know their motive.
She said “our men were shot at by the hoodlums and in the process the police responded , three of our men were wounded and currently receiving treatment. The Suspect in question was with a pistol , we dont know if the move was politically motivated ,already we have intelligence that they are planing to attack some of our formations including the Anti Cult and kidnapping Squad (ACKS) domiciled inside the cultural Centre”.