No fewer than 100 policemen on Sunday sealed off the Ikot-Ansa Town Hall, the proposed congress venue of the All Progressives Congress in Calabar, Cross River State to avert what was referred to as a ‘bloodbath.’
Despite the blockade, a faction of the APC in the state elected a new chairman, Dr. Mathew Achigbe, and other executive members through voice votes at another venue.
Our correspondent learnt that the venue was sealed off as early as 9am following the directive by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, who deployed a crack team of security operatives to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
Specifically, Inuwa had told our correspondent that he got an intelligence report that there was likely to be a bloodbath if the congress was conducted.
“I got an intelligence report that there would be a bloodbath, so, I had to intervene. A faction of the party had initially written that they wanted to hold the congress in that venue, but the chairman of the party wrote to dissociate himself from that congress. We acted promptly to avert the breakdown of law and order,” he said.
However, at the new venue where the exercise was eventually conducted by the National Vice Chairman of the APC, South-South, Chief Hilliard Eta, on the premises of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Mr. John Ochala emerged vice-chairman while Bishop Victor Ebong was voted as secretary.
A faction led by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Usani Usani, had on May 19, 2018 conducted its congress at the Cultural Centre in Calabar where Mr. Etim John emerged as chairman.
In his comment, Senator Owan-Enoh said the new executive had more widespread acceptability among the party loyalists in the state.