The police in Akwa Ibom State yesterday morning arrested 400 suspected thugs in Uyo, the state capital. The suspects were arrested in their hideout in Ewet Housing Estate.
Police Inspector, Jeremiah Dogo, said the “arrest was made possible by the deployment of extra policemen to the state by the Inspector General of Police (IGP).”
Inspector Dogo said the suspects confessed that they were brought in from Bayelsa and Rivers states by PDP chieftains to help rig the general elections.
The hideout where the thugs were nabbed is believed to be owned by a PDP chieftain in the state.
The suspects are mostly indigenes of the two states.
Guns and ammunition were recovered from them.
Police say they have received reports of the various hideouts of the thugs and cultists that have come into the state in the last few days.
“We will make life unbearable for them,” a source in the state police command said.
The APC in the state has hailed the police for the arrest.
The APC said the arrest has brought to fore the alleged statement by the director-general of the state governor’s campaign council, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd), that Governor Udom Emmanuel should prepare for war if he wanted to win the upcoming election.
The party also quoted the speaker of the state house of assembly, Onofiok Luke and Senator Bassey Albert as allegedly saying a few months ago that they would do everything possible to ensure the victory of the PDP in the general elections.
The Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Comrade Iniobong Ememobong, said he was not aware of the arrest of any group of persons said to be working for the party.
But the State Commissioner of police, Mr. Bashir Makama, who confirmed the arrests, said the police was still investigating the matter to find out if the suspects were PDP or APC thugs.
Makama said the police acted on intelligence report, hence carried out raids on suspected black spots in Uyo and its environs to forestall any breakdown of law and order during today’s residential election.
The Commissioner of Police, who was also silent on the number of suspects arrested in the sting operation, also said he was not aware of any vehicle caught with money in it.