Akwa Ibom Assembly Crisis: Women, youths protest alleged police involvement

Posted by News Express | 29 November 2018 | 843 times

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•The women protesters

A large number of women in Akwa Ibom State marched through major streets in the state on Wednesday calling for the removal of the state Police Commissioner, Musa Kimo.

Led by the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet; the PDP women leader in the state, Mrs. Mmeme Akpabio, and a former Minister of Lands, Dr. Akon Eyakenyi, the women stormed the state House of Assembly complex to express their solidarity with the governor amidst alleged “intimidation by the Federal Government”.

According to the women, “For the sake of peace in this state, we want the removal of Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo, from our state.

“We have always had peace, and we want that peace to continue. We cannot have a police force that will abet the level of illegality that we have witnessed in the House of Assembly.

“Introducing anything other than peace in Akwa Ibom is alien to our people. When there is crisis anywhere and women step in, there is always peace. This is why we have stepped in,” she said.

Addressing the women, the Speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke, urged them to continue to pray for peace and not be afraid.

He appealed to them to rise to defend the nation’s hard-won democracy at all times.

He recalled that Akwa Ibom State was peaceful until certain elements decided in August 2018 to declare “Warsaw” in the state.

Also, the youths of the core oil communities, including Eket, Esit Eket, Onna, and Ibeno local government areas of the state, have protested the pandemonium that happened in the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly on Tuesday in Eket Local Government Area of the state.

The protest, which started at about 7a.m on Wednesday, disrupted the activities of ExxonMobil in Eket Local Government Area.

The youths bore placards with inscription such as: ‘Crisis in Akwa Ibom is crisis in the Nigerian Economy’, ‘Sen. Akpabio Leave Gov. Emmanuel Alone’, ‘Eket Youths are Comfortable with Gov. Emmanuel’, among others.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Tommy Enodien, the youths caucus chairman in Eket, said the peaceful protest was as a result of what was playing out in the state.

He explained that ExxonMobil was the contact point to pass the message to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“We protested at ExxonMobil facility because it sustained the economy of Nigeria. So, any disruption of their facility will attract the attention of the Federal Government.

“We have seen some people boasting that they have federal might, but we are here to tell them that the people’s might is mightier than federal might.”

On a remarkable note, Kimo, the state CP, on Wednesday denied involvement in Tuesday’s alleged police-aided crisis in the state Assembly.

Kimo said the police under his watch would always provide a level playing field to all political parties in the state.

In a press conference with journalists at the Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo, Kimo admonished those with issues that could lead to a breakdown of law and order to approach courts of competent jurisdiction to settle their matters amicably.

He warned politicians and their supporters in the state to eschew violence, thuggery, and other vices and embrace peace or explore legal options in settling their differences.

The new CP, who would be one week old in the state by Friday, acknowledged the peaceful nature the state was known for.

He noted that without the sustenance of such atmosphere, the people, politicians, and others’ dreams would not be actualised.

Kimo, who is the 25th Commissioner of Police since the creation of the state, maintained that the police in the state would not be partisan, would be fair, just, and responsible in the course of carrying out their duties.

“We will not be partisan, but fair, just, and responsible. Above all, we will be professional in the discharge of our duties.”

“We will provide level playing ground for everybody. We are here to serve lives and property, the police cannot do it above all and we need the cooperation of law abiding citizens of the state”, he said.

Sourced from a Daily Independent report

Source: News Express

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