Cross River PDP congress: Former National Publicity Secretary narrowly escapes death
Former National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bar Venatius A. Ikem narrowly escaped being beaten to death in Calabar, Cross River State capital.
Bar Ikem, an aspirant for Chairmanship position for the Party in the State went to the Transcorp Hotel in Calabar to check the result of the screening conducted by the party on Monday.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Bar Ikem said that after waiting for too long and the result of their screening exercise conducted on Monday was not released, he went to Transcorp Hotel to see the Committee.
“To my surprise, I met my opponent, Alphonsus Eba with the committee, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Martin Orim and Amani Orong, also appointee of the Governor in the room with members of the committee.
“I recognised Barrister Hassam, the Chairman of the committee and all members were present. I also notice that several copies of unsigned certificates were on the coffee table in the room. I asked a general question, if we were going to be issue our clearance because we were getting worried because there were rumoured that the person who were not sponsored by the Governor would be disqualified.
“One of the members of the committee, the only lady started saying that I should leave the room for them to do their work. I protested that, I will not leave when my opponent, Mr Alphonsus Eba was in the room with them and other persons like the Chief of Staff to the Governor and Amina Arong, still in the room.
“At a point, quarrel ensued between Mr Eba with loud shouting. He suddenly opened the door and beckoned on a young bearded man into the room which I can identify and the man came and started slapping me while Mr Eba held me, and they dragged me out to the Hotel lobby where several young men were gathered and some of them rushed to join Mr Alphosus as he slapped me repeatedly, beating, and dragging me until they threw me out of the Hotel.
“I can recall seeing one of the Managers of the Hotel, Mr Patrick Izama watching helplessly when this was going on at the open lobby of the Hotel and several staff. I did not sustain any injury, but I am feeling deep pains in my chest. I have not done any medical check because I ran from there to report the matter to the Police.
“I have strong reason to believe that they were angry because I stormed when they were trying to manipulate the result and outcome of the screening of aspirants for the party’s congress,” he stated.
Responding to the allegations made by Bar Ikem, the Special Adviser to the Governor Ben Ayade on Presidency and National Assembly Matter, Amina Arong said in a statement made available to DAILY POST that Bar Ikem busted into the room where the electoral committee was doing their duty.
She said, “Yesterday, the 24th day of March, I was in Transcorp hotels room 507 while the ELECTORAL committee members were in room 508 but with a door linking the suite. I was waiting for them to complete their report, so we could proceed to the airport. I was in room 507 with the chief of Staff to the Governor who was receiving a call.
“Suddenly, we heard someone shouting at the committee members in room 508. I didn’t know who it was until suddenly, Barr Venatius Ikem busted out of room 508 into room 507 where I was seated and came straight to me and was shouting at me” Amina you are here, are you a committee member? He then slapped me, my phone fell,
“He grabbed me by the neck and was strangulating me. I was gasping for air and getting unconscious so other members of the committee rushed in to rescue me, and he began to fight them. One of the committee members had a dislocated finger while the other had a cut on his hand. It took the intervention of Mr John chukwudi to get Bar Venatius hands off me. Just then, Bar Alphonsus was notified, and he rushed in to rescue me and Bar Venatius pounced on him’’ She stated.
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