A peaceful protest against Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State turned violent when some 30 thugs hired by the governor’s aides attacked protesters just outside the state liaison office in Lagos.
The protesters, led by a lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, were agitating against Governor Udom’s decision to build another Governor’s lodge in Lagos even though there was a functioning lodge in the city.
The protesters said hired thugs and some youth who hail from Akwa Ibom but reside in Lagos ambushed and attacked them, inflicting injuries on numerous peaceful demonstrators. The thugs also attacked some reporters who were covering the protest.
Accusing the government of seeking to waste public funds, Mr. Effiong said Mr. Udom’s decision to build another lodge in Lagos was wrong and not in the state’s best interest considering the state’s economic situation and what the citizens of Akwa Ibom were going through.
“We are against the Governor coming to build another Governor’s lodge in Lagos,” he said. He added, “What happened to the lodge that exists?” He continued, “Building another lodge in Lagos is nothing but a waste of resources and investing in Lagos, a state that is richer than four African countries put together. He should rather take the billions of naira and invest it in Akwa Ibom resources and provide jobs for suffering youths and citizens.”
Protesters said Akan Eduoku, the leader of an organization called Akwa Ibom Youth, Lagos wing, led the thugs who attacked them. They added that another man, Chris Kaite, was also part of the gang that assaulted protesters.
The thugs loudly proclaimed their support for Governor Udom and vowed to wound or kill anybody who stands or speaks against the governor in Akwa Ibom or any part of the country.