General Elections: Soldiers Take Over Ayade’s Hometown

Ahead of the presidential election, a large number of armed soldiers have taken over Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State, particularly the Obudu town where the state governor, Ben Ayade hails from.

They can be spotted at key spots with their armored personnel carriers and full battle gear.

There are additional platoons stationed in other areas of the Cross River North Senatorial District that are thought to be violent hotspots.

This is due to tensions and concerns caused by frequent attacks on people and their property as well as the fact that the state governor is running against incumbent Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe for the senatorial seat.

In the recent weeks, armed groups were allegedly driving around the Obudu town sans masks while firing openly into the air to intimidate the inhabitants and electorates.

The country home of the state chairman of the main opposition party, PDP, Venatius Ikem, was completely vandalized two days ago by a gang of notorious boys allegedly led by one Christian Ukpam Odey and Tom Adie, a.k.a. Tompolo.

Everything was ruined, and one of Ikem’s assistants was injured.

In the last two weeks, more attacks were meted out to the chairman of the campaign committee in Obudu and dispersed their gathering.

A voter, Sam Are who arrived in the town yesterday published on his social media page,. “I got to Obudu this evening ahead of the presidential and National Assembly elections and I must say it is disappointing to see military presence descriptive and reminiscent only of a war zone! I have a foreboding that more evil looms!”

He said “Election is not war. We can belong to different ideological camps and still be brothers. Ambitions will come and go but your brothers will still be your brothers.”

Meanwhile, Captain Dorcas Aluko, assistant director, Army Public Relations issued a statement yesterday, saying: “In an effort to effectively carry out its constitutional mandate of providing support to civil authorities and working in synergy with the Nigeria Police (NP) to ensure protection of lives and property during the forthcoming 2023 elections, 13 Brigade Nigerian Army Nigerian Army has approved a Hotline to monitor and report any suspicious act or acts of violence by unscrupulous persons or group of persons capable of disrupting the peaceful conduct of the 2023 general election, as well as the conduct of troops deployed to provide security during the election in Cross Rivers State.”

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