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Cross River State governor Professor Ben Ayade

Cross River State government has accused two leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Vena Ikem and Paul Adah, of importing thugs and cultists to disrupt last Saturday’s by-election.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate, Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen, who replaced her late husband, Steven Ukpukpen, won the election, in Obudu local council area.

The state government made the allegation in a press statement at a briefing in the Government House, Calabar.

Commissioner for Justice, Joe Abang said the election witnessed voters apathy due to fear of uncertainty caused by the thugs.

He alleged that they unleashed violence on the citizenry before they were arrested and arraigned by law enforcement agencies.

The statement said the thugs stormed Obudu a few days to the election with guns and other dangerous weapons to ensure that there was no free and fair by-election.

The government said it was worried by the development, which has further dented the good image of the state, adding that if not addressed, it could “lead to further disenfranchisement of eligible voters and encourage hooliganism and criminality.”

Reacting, the accused APC members in different telephone interviews denied the accusation.

Adah said he: “never brought cultists to Obudu for a mere state House of Assembly by-election.

I never did in the three elections where I ran and will never do so.

I am not even aware that cultists were arrested not to talk of going to the police station to intervene as alleged.”



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