Witnesses at the post-election violence commission’s sitting in Akwa Ibom State have blamed the crisis in the state on the lack of tolerance for the opposition, but declined to mention the party, or parties, that instigated the violence.
The commission, which is enquiring into the March 22 mayhem that happened in Ikot Ekpene and Uyo, was set up on May 11, 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan to look into the remote causes that brought about the mayhem.
Emmanuel Jack, the administrative secretary of the Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Office in Uyo yesterday blamed opposition political parties in the state for the violence. Mr Jack, who said the intolerance started during the electioneering, as the different parties did all they could to outshine or undermine the other, stated that he did not know the group that caused the wanton damage in both Ikot Ekpene and Uyo.
He said everyone who witnessed the indiscriminate shooting had only one purpose, which was to scamper for safety and not to try to find out those behind the mayhem.
Mr Jack advocated the reduction of the salaries of political office holders as the panacea to violence of that nature, saying fat allowances were responsible for the do-or-die posture of politicians during elections.
The official, who affirmed that the weapons used in the mayhem were sophisticated, also appealed to the federal government to mop up the weapons against future use, claiming that he lost property worth ₦420m, consisting of a house, furnishings and fixtures. He said estate valuers who assessed the level of damage came up with the figure. He however did not have any evidence for his claims. “I did not come with any document since I got the information late last night,” he said.
He also said that 14 people may have been killed in the fracas, though his analysis showed eight, four and seven respectively from the three local governments of Mkpan Enin, Uyo and Ikot Ekpene, totalling nineteen.
A lawyer for Fortune Group of Schools, Uyo, Zaccheus Emmanuel, who failed to name those he thought were responsible for the burning of the school, said that since the school was located far from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat, it means the attack on it was premeditated.
Full Article: Jun2311 Election Violence.