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Police stop and search directive: Ayade initiated stockpiling of arms for elections -APC

Gov. Ben Ayade with one of the victims of APC vs PDP Etomi clash

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State has condemned the recent directive by Governor Ben Ayade on the State Police Command to declare a Stop and Search on all campaign
convoys as a way of checking for “illegal arms”.

The party said the reason for the directive contained in a statement signed by Governor Ayade’s Chief Press
Secretary, Christian Ita adduced as
being ‘’imperative to stop stockpiling of arms” was flimsy.

The APC however accused Governor Ayade of initiating the idea of stockpiling arms for elections.

According to the party’s statement endorsed by its Publicity
Secretary, Mr. Bassey Ita, “Has Ayade suddenly forgotten that the
idea of stockpiling of arms for election was initiated by him, when he
paid a whooping N50 million to some youths in Boki Local Government
Area to stockpile their arms under the guise of a phantom Amnesty
Programme believed to have  been designed for that purpose?”

The statement furthered that “It is Ayade who has been harboring
cultists and other kinds of criminals, many of them working as
appointees of his government and who have been brandishing their
weapons which they often use in inter-cult clashes and internecine
conflicts in their various communities.”

The APC also lashed  at the Governor for being the brain behind the
recent outbreak of violence in Etung Local Government Area.

“The Etung saga for which the Governor visited some elements in
hospital was instigated by those loyal to him against the APC. It is
the same victims who first attacked the APC members’ houses following
the uncontrollable defection of PDP members to the APC. How and where
did they get the guns they were using on the APC members?”

The opposition party asked the Governor to provide
answers to the aforementioned questions before making such spurious
directives.

It said “while not attempting to fan embers of violence in the state by stopping the Police to do their work, the
Governor should first purge himself of this immoral stockpiling of
arms so the work will be a lot easier for the Police.

The APC further accused the Governor of issuing the directive “because
of the rising profile of the APC in the campaigns”, stating that the
directive was only meant to stop the APC.

It said “unfortunately, the APC has remained irrepressible and will so remain”.
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