Thursday, 23 October 2014

Fallout of Udom’s declaration in Uyo: ACA Office attacked * We where under financial pressure - Uwanta

Fallout of Udom’s declaration in Uyo

While the immediate past secretary to the state Government must have been fanning himself in excitement over what many, his supporters would describe as an unprecedented turn out at his declaration two days ago, all did not end well afterall. Apart from the bickering that leaders of different groups submerged into the Akwa Ibom Consolidation Alliance, ACA posited, it was noticed by political analysts that over 80% of the crowd at the Uyo township stadium were hired.

Our reporter who monitored the exercise reports that it was a ceremony of government and not that of the people like in every political declaration. But the organizers of the event did not actually cover their ass well, said a source. When the event ended at the later hours of the evening, those who were brought in from different villages across the Local Government Areas of the state were shortchanged. 

THE INK gathered that each person in the hired crowd was to be paid the sum of two thousand naira only with transportation fee to and from where they were coming from. But as at the time the event was over, those who expected their money were blocked from accessing the people who brought them to Uyo. All efforts to sort out the matter ended in confusion leading to a melee that ensued at the Nsikak Eduok Avenue were the head office of ACA is located.

Youths, men and women numbering over hundred took to the ACA office to vent their anger. They threw stones, bottles, sticks and all sorts of objects at the ACA office raining abuses on those who invited them over only to let them into the full glare of confusion. It took the timely intervention of the men of the Joint Task Force comprising of the Police, Army, Navy Civil Defence to repel the angry mob.

Initially, many had thought the confusion was just one of the shows of temporary exercise but when more youths arrived in their droves to join hands in the attack of the ACA office, the security personnel had to call for reinforcement. Men of the DSS apparently dressed in mufty are said to have arrived the scene to join in restoring peace and normalcy to the area. A reinforcement of security operatives also helped in bringing calm to the area but not after tyres of cars belonging to government and well placed ACA headsmen had been badly touched. 

Some of the youths who spoke to our reporters that Tuesday night informed that they were not paid and as a result of that they had to do anything that will attract Government attention and those that invited them to the event. They debunked the insinuation that they were sponsored by politicians of the opposing divide.

As late as half past nine on Tuesday night some of the protesters were still hanging around for want of were to sleep and money to pay their way back. They argued that if Government will have the mind of bringing them to punish then such government is wicked.

A woman who came from Ibiono and introduced herself as Mrs. Helen Akpan while narrating the ordeal mobilizers like her faced in the Udom’s declaration said, some of them were asked to mobilize twenty persons while others were asked to mobilize thirty to forty. She continued that they all obliged as they were promised the sum of fifty thousand naira and hundred thousand respectively. Mrs. Akpan said, it was wicked and wild that all they could get was a flat rate of twenty thousand naira each. She wondered what Government had wanted them to do with such embarrassing amount of money.

 At this time, women who came in through her had started rushing towards the poor woman leading to her making frantic phone calls to her son who is based in Uyo to see how to raise money to settle the women. She lamented bitterly and maintained that she will never in her life play politics to satisfy the government. It was a show of Shame as mobilizers and the hired crowd had no choice than to resort to openly attacking the ACA building. Signs of the broken windows and louvers were visible as at the time this paper went to bed last night.    

In a quick reaction those in support of ACA were quick to blame the opposing politicians on the unfortunate incident. They argued that they had done everything within their ability to ensure that all those who came were adequately taken care of. A spokesman for ACA said, everybody was mobilized so, it is the handiwork of detractors. 

The International President of ACA, Pastor Andrew Uwanta had described it as unfortunate. He blamed the failure of Government and organizers of the rally to release funds for transport on financial pressure.

Speaking in a telephone conversation with our reporter, the ACA President said that though there was a little pressure in arranging transportation for leaders of the affiliate groups to take their members back safely, the process went on peacefully without any problem from members, but it was the supporters of other aspirants who were angry by the mammoth crowd that attended Udom’s declaration and hence took advantage of the night disturbance by the ACA supporters to unleash mayhem on the secretariat. He said the exercise of anger by the youths was however a failure.

He maintained that the crowd was well managed because if not, with crowd of people who were there would have resulted in a serious fight that people could lose their lives. And when people come out like that, other opposing camps will also be there to take advantage of the slightest opportunity.

The International President further said that everything was well handled, and described the event as a hitch free outing. He summarized that “what people were concerned about was how to get back to their homes which was handled amicably without any problem. Nobody that is part and parcel of the project will want to destroy no matter what, except those opposing to it”.

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