Tension in Cross River as group alleges plot to reintroduce “special squard” to rig election by Ayade


By our correspondent

Group operating under the aegis of Cross River Democratic Watch (CRDW) has raised the alarm over alleged plot by Governor Ben Ayade to reintroduce a dreaded Special Forces to clampdown on the opposition in the state ahead of the National Assembly election.

The group likened the alleged move by the governor to the sad experience in the last House of Representatives by-election for Ogoja/Yala federal constituency on February 26, 2022 during which Ayade allegedly deployed Special Forces anchored by the Governor’s office security unity to rig the election.

Expressing worry at the fear of repeat of same scenario in 2023 election, the Coordinator and Secretary of the group, Messers Emmanuel Agbor Agbor and Austine Ushie respectively alleged that the governor is already in Abuja to perfect the re-introduction of the Special squard to harass and clampdown on their opponents in the state.

Agbor and Ushie in a statemnet relelased in Abuja
disclosed that the Governor is lobbying that the high police command approves the setting up of a Sepcial Force, promising to fund and donate some vehicles for their operations ostensibly to be deployed for his senatorail election.

It alleged that a Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr. Musa B. Mohammed, has been deployed from Nasarawa Command to take charge of the compromised Special Forces.

“Our attention has been drawn to the disturbing moves by Governor Ben Ayade to Police Headquarters to lobby for a Special Force Unit to be apporved in Calabr for the general election. The ulterior motive is for him to deploy the same Force to Northern part of the state and use it to compromise the senatorial election where he is a candidate.

“We wonder why Ayade is always looking for a Special Force once election is around the corner. He did it in the last Ogoja/Yala federal constituency by-election using the Governor’s office Security unit.

“It is important to note here that under the watch of Governor Ayade, the Cross River State Police Command have no operational vehicles neither do they receive logistics to carry out their constitutional duties. This is one of his desperate attempts at getting the Police echelon to deploy Special Forces to enable him rig the upcoming Senatorial election in Cross River North.

“Gov Ayade has already brought in a Militia Group into the State to unleash mayhem on our people, from the creeks and South East.

“The Inspector General of Police has committed to a level playing field, but Ayade who has been rejected by his people, is bent on rigging the election, through violence aided by the Police, anchored by the the Deputy Commissioner, Operations, Cross River State Command, Mr. Frank Idu.

“We call on the Inspector General of Police not listen to his manipulative tendencies. We also call on the authourities to redeploy the Deputy Commissioner, Operations. Mr Francis Idu, to guarantee a peaceful election in Cross River State. Our People are ready to die, for their rights.

“We shall resist any attempt to compromise the senatorial election in any form using unauthourised security presence,” the statement read.