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Police warns against violence, thuggery in Akwa Ibom during governorship elections

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The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom, Mr Olatoye Durosinmi, has warned politicians in the state to shun politics of bitterness and use of thugs during the Saturday Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections.

Durosinmi, gave the warning during the signing of a Peace Accord by gubernatorial candidates at the police headquarters in Uyo on Tuesday.

He reminded the candidates that they were all brothers from the same state and should not do anything to jeopardise the existing peace in the state.

He further appealed to the candidates to talk to their supporters and followers to also embrace peace and not to forment trouble, stressing that the security agencies were ready to deal decisively with trouble makers.

The CP said that the police and other security agencies would ensure neutrality and work with all parties to ensure peace before, during and after elections.

“We are here to sign a peace accord. We are here to talk to each other and interact. We are to talk and see if there were lapses in the last election, that we can correct something we didn’t do well on the part of politicians.

“Anything we have not done well on the part of security agencies, we are all here to listen to you. All that we are aiming at, is a peaceful elections on March 18, 2023, and a better elections that we will be proud of.

“So, the gubernatorial election is the one that concerns all of us and everyone is ready but we want to send strong warning that in Akwa Ibom, we want to have zero tolerance to thuggery.

“We are aware that some people are going to wear oversized uniforms on that day. We are aware that some people will wear uniforms with big beard that they forgot to trim, so we know them.

“We are also aware that they will use newly painted police or military vehicles, we are aware of it and we have remedies to it.

“The advice is that those who are planning to forment trouble should repent and not do that. We are ready to deal with them decisively,” CP warned.

In his remarks, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, said that the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would continue to remain neutral as the umpire for the elections.

Omorogbe, who was represented by the INEC Administrative Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Ogbodu assured the gubernatorial candidates that materials would arrived polling units on time.

He also urged the gubernatorial candidates and politicians to spread the good news of peace to their supporters and followers.

The resident electoral commissioner urged gubernatorial and state house of assembly candidates to be ready to accept result of the election, as only one candidate would win during the contest.

“We are here to seek for peace and ensure that there will be peace before, during and after the elections.

“So, the call is for the candidates and their supporters to embrace peace before, during and after the elections.

“We urge all participants that are here to spead this to their supporters that there should be peace no matter the outcome, favourable or unfavourable, because in every contest, the position contested for will be taken by only one person.

“Two people cannot be elected into one office. So, we should have this mind, cultivate this culture of accepting the result the way it comes.

“On our part, we have dedicated ourselves to do our best in this state as we have done before. So, we will continue to do better.

“We will ensure that this time around, we will be very earlier with our materials and personnel. So, that when we arrived early everything goes smoothly.

“We believe candidates and their supporters will accept the result in good faith and ensure that there is peace for everyone,” Omorogbe said.

Also reacting, all the gubernatorial candidates appealed to INEC to ensure early arrival of materials to all polling units, stressing that in the Feb. 25 elections materials arrived polling units very late.

They also called on the police and other security agencies in the state to be fair and remained impartial to all political parties and their candidates.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that governorship candidates from about 18 political parties signed the peace accord.

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Economy

Akwa Ibom First Lady Empowers Mothers of Multiple Births, Grants Stipends

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In a heartwarming initiative, mothers of multiple birth children across Akwa Ibom State’s 31 Local Government Areas are set to receive monthly stipends as part of an empowerment program led by the state’s First Lady, Pastor Patience Umo Eno.

The stipends amount to fifty thousand naira each for twins and one hundred thousand naira each for triplets, aiming to alleviate the financial burden of caring for multiple birth children.

The announcement was made during the empowerment program for mothers in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District held at the Ikot Ekpene Town Hall on Friday, January 19, 2024. Pastor Patience Umo Eno emphasized her commitment to supporting families in the state and expressed her joy in celebrating the blessings of multiple births.

Addressing the mothers, the First Lady urged them to cherish and care for their children, considering them as blessings from God. She pledged continuous support to families and highlighted the positive impact that multiple birth children can bring to their lives.

The Chairman of the Transition Committee, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Council, Mr. John Etim, commended the First Lady for the consistent implementation of the program, describing the Umo Eno administration as impactful and people-driven. He assured continued support from the people of Ikot Ekpene to achieve the ARISE Agenda.

Goodwill messages were received from various dignitaries, including Mrs. Utibe Etim, the wife of the Transition Chairman of Ikot Ekpene Local Government Council, and Hon. Inibehe Silas, the President of the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District Women Forum. They lauded Pastor Patience Umo Eno for her support to mothers of multiple birth children, acknowledging the relief provided in the face of economic challenges.

The event concluded with the distribution of baby packs and cash to the beneficiaries by the Governor’s Wife and other female stakeholders. Excited beneficiaries expressed gratitude for their inclusion in the empowerment program, considering it a significant relief. They offered prayers for God’s blessings on Pastor Patience Umo Eno for her labor of love and generosity.

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Crime

Court Orders Policewoman to Pay Tricyclist N5m for Unlawful Arrest, Impoundment

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An Akwa Ibom State High Court has issued a judgment ordering a policewoman, Inspector Iniobong Umoren, to pay a tricyclist, Jeremiah Sunday Udo, the sum of N5 million for his unlawful arrest and the impoundment of his tricycle.

The tricyclist had purchased the vehicle on hire purchase for N1.9 million.

Justice Ntong Ntong, presiding over the case, also directed Mr. Udoka David, a friend of the tricyclist, to pay an additional N5 million for instigating the police to arrest and detain him for five days without food and water.

The court, however, excluded the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Mr. Olatoye Durosinmi, from the judgment but advised him to caution his officers and men to operate within the confines of the law.

Jeremiah Sunday Udo, a resident of Ifa Ikot Idang in Uyo, had entered into a hire purchase agreement with Mr. Udoka David, with a commitment to pay N20,000 every week.

Following economic challenges, he fell behind in his payments, resulting in his arrest and the confiscation of the tricycle.

Justice Ntong criticized Inspector Iniobong Umoren for impounding the tricycle without a court order, describing her actions as “satanic, nefarious, and unwholesome antics against the applicant.”

The court emphasized the need to protect individuals from such abuse of power and ordered the immediate release of the tricycle pending further court orders under the hire purchase agreement.

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Metro

Governor Umo Eno Launches Oron Street Construction, Promising Progress and Continuity

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has officially commenced the construction of the 2.1km Ukpong Street and 2.1km Effiong Essang Street, accompanied by an 800m discharge drain, in the Oron Local Government Area of the State.

The Governor has reaffirmed his commitment to upholding the continuity of impactful projects initiated by the previous administration.

Addressing the enthusiastic crowd of Oron residents gathered to witness the flag-off event, Governor Eno expressed his dedication to fulfilling campaign promises and ensuring the completion of these significant projects. The commencement of the Ukpong and Effiong Essang Streets was met with excitement, marking a step forward in delivering tangible benefits to the community.

Governor Eno emphasized his intent to prioritize project inaugurations over mere flag-offs, underlining his focus on actualizing developmental initiatives for the people. He assured the crowd that he would delegate members of the State Executive Council to initiate other projects across the state, promising completion by February of the following year.

“In our campaign, we committed to continuing projects initiated by the previous Government. Today, I am pleased to see that promise fulfilled. We are funding and mobilizing the contractor for this approved road. We could have chosen otherwise, but that’s not the commitment we made,” Governor Eno asserted.

The Governor reassured the community that the project would be well-funded, with completion anticipated for January. He confidently promised that the project would be ready for commissioning in February, with keen observation from the community.

Acknowledging the request from the Youth President, Comrade Bright Afahaakan, for assistance to the Police Authorities with operational vehicles, Governor Eno assured that he would explore the request. He urged the youth to collaborate with the police and security agencies, emphasizing that security is a collective responsibility.

“I heard the Youth President discussing vehicles and assistance to the police. It’s not only the government that can provide vehicles. Let’s encourage individual and voluntary contributions. I appreciate the police in our community, and we’ll respond to the youth leader’s call,” Governor Eno conveyed.

Deputy Governor, Dr Akon Eyakenyi, commended Governor Eno for his commitment to the Oro people’s welfare and commended his inclusive approach to governance. She pledged intervention in twelve roads within the Oron nation and the Nsit Atai-Oron road.

Reviewing the projects, Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Professor Eno Ibanga, highlighted the significance of the two roads, which connect a Federal Government Housing Estate, Maritime Academy, and residential areas. The completion of these roads will include essential drains and an 800-meter outfall drain to mitigate erosion.

Member of the National Assembly representing Oron Federal Constituency, Hon. Martins Esin, expressed deep gratitude for the road projects. He hailed Governor Umo Eno’s unprecedented inclusivity of Oron people in his administration, acknowledging the positive impact on the lives of constituents.

In summary, the commencement of the Ukpong and Effiong Essang Streets’ construction signals a dedicated effort towards fulfilling campaign promises and continuing developmental initiatives for the people of Akwa Ibom State. Governor Eno’s commitment to transparency and inclusivity has resonated positively with the community, fostering anticipation for tangible and lasting improvements in the region.

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