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Date Published: 10/12/10

Akwa Ibom Kidnappings: The Agonies of Governorship Candidates

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One needs to understand why explanation has become remedy to crimes. It beats one’s imagination that the Akwa Ibom Commissioner of Information explained away the kidnapping of Her Excellency, Mrs. Comfort Ewang, the wife to the former military governor of Ogun and Rivers States. In the Nigerian Compass newspaper of October 8, 2010, the retired Air Commodore Sam Ewang had accused the Akpabio government of complicity in the kidnap of his wife on Thursday October 7, 2010.

Air Commodore Ewang is a governorship candidate. To Ewang’s allegation, it was shockingly amazing that the State Commissioner of Information, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, had this to say: “There was no basis for Ewang or anybody to link the kidnap (of Her Excellency, Mrs. Comfort Ewang) to the government and that even Governor Akpabio’s in-law was also kidnapped the same day”. Many are wondering what the ‘kidnap’ of Governor Akpabio’s (which) in-law has to do with the kidnap of a former first lady. Unwittingly, the Commissioner has also confirmed that kidnapping in Akwa Ibom is not a new thing. 

It will be recalled that a governorship aspirant, Singapore-based ship builder, Engineer Udonwa, was some months back shot by unidentified gunmen on his way from a political meeting but his aged mother was kidnapped in the process. According to Police Commissioner Walter Rugbere, the family of the runaway governorship aspirant could not meet the demand of his mother’s kidnappers hence the old woman after fifty (50) days in captivity was murdered and her body dumped along a street. What was the demand of her kidnappers? They want Udonwa family to announce the withdrawal of their son from governorship contest and also that Engineer Udonwa was dead. Earlier on, the former NYSC Director, Gen Edet Akpan, was kidnapped. Most of the kidnappings are alleged to be politically motivated.

Many in Akwa Ibomites are crying about intimidation and coercion by the present government; it is either you fall in line or be run out of the State. But people say they would not give up hope until evil is stamped out of the State.

Obong Ekanem Umoh, Nwaniba Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

ekiumoh@yahoo.com

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