Election: Military’s ‘show of force’ in Cross River

A convoy of combined team of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the para-military organisations, on Tuesday, in a show of force, drove round the streets of Calabar in Cross River State, blaring sirens as they drove along.

The convoy, consisting of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Mobile Police, the Police, Civil Defence, Prisons, Customs and Immigration personnel etc. drove in over 40 Hi-Lux mini buses, and the occupants were fierce looking and armed with sophisticated weapons.

They drove round and in front of political party offices, markets, open fields etc., where people, mostly youths, gathered in small groups discussing the outcome of election results, even as they were still being announced.

A retired military personnel, who prefers anonymity, said such operation by the military is called a ‘show of force’.

“It is most likely that the military is demonstrating to show that they are battle ready to confront any individual or group that may be discontented with the outcome of the election results as they are being released, and may want to foment trouble,” the retired officer said.

It would be recalled that observers had, even before the conduct of the elections, predicted that Calabar Municipality/Calabar South and Abi/Yakurr Local governments could be flash points for likely violence, should the election results be contrary to people’s expectations.

On Monday, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by its Chairman, Pastor Usani Usani, addressed a press conference, even before the results were made public, alleging that the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state had doctored the results in favour of PDP candidates.

Consequently, the state APC rejected the results, even before they were made public.

Similarly, Labour Party (LP) supporters in the state, also on Monday, demonstrated along the streets of Calabar metropolis with placards alleging that the ruling PDP has rigged out their candidate, incumbent Senator Prince Bassey Out, in favour of Gershom Bassey of the PDP.

As at the time of this report, uneasy calm continued to envelope not just the Calabar Metropolis, but also the entire state.

About the author

Ihesiulo Grace

Leave a Comment