|Women protest naked in C’River over LG election|
Aged women from Erei, Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State on Monday stormed Calabar half-naked to protest what they called ‘disenfranchisement and illegal arrest of their sons’ during the local government election held in the state on Saturday.
The women, whose ages ranged between 50 and 80, arrived the state capital shortly after the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission announced the results of the election, in which the Peoples Democratic Party won all the 18 chairmanship seats.
Announcing the results, the chairman of CROISEC, Mr. Patrick Otu, said his commission derived its powers to conduct the election and release the results from section 10 of the state’s electoral laws.
Seven parties that contested against the PDP did not present candidates in 75 councillorship wards and nine chairmanship positions. Thus, CROSIEC declared that most PDP candidates won unopposed.
CROSIEC also declared that the PDP won in all the wards, apart from three wards which were each won by Labour Party, Action Congress of Nigeria and All Nigeria Peoples Party.
But the aggrieved women, who were said to have travelled over 10 hours to get to the state capital at 6pm, complained that there was no election in their area.
The angry mothers arrived the state capital in three 14-seater buses, lamenting that the election in their area was marred by violence, intimidation and indiscriminate arrest of youths.
The Erei women, who were led by Mrs. Glory Owali, took their complaint to the headquarters of CROSIEC, the Governor’s Office and the headquarters of the state police command in Calabar.
The women, in a thumb-printed statement, made available to our correspondent, appealed to the police to release 18 of their children, whom they alleged were framed up and arrested for trying to protect their votes.
They insisted that the youths were simply escorting electoral materials to polling units when 37 soldiers in pick-up vans arrested them.
They alleged that the incident took place because the youths had vowed not to support a PDP candidate sponsored by a top politician in their area.
The Chief Security Adviser to Imoke, Mr. Bassey Okim, who received the women, appealed to them to return home.
He promised that the state government would look into their complaints. The women, who broke down in tears on reaching the headquarters of the state police command, demanded to see the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Ahmed, and their detained sons.
They were, however, addressed by Inspector Yohanna, who told them that the commissioner had closed for the day. But he promised to convey their demands to Ahmed.