Bakassi leaders have condemned the assassination attempt on one of the State Security Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Mr Ani Essien.
The Bakassi natives, who spoke in Ekpri Ikang, headquarters of Bakasi Local Government Area, said it amounted to grave injustice to try to assassinate Esin, one if their prominent sons, who has served the state creditably.
Ani Esin, the former chairman of Bakassi, LGA, was attacked by suspected assassins in his home at Crosspill Estates, off MCC Road, Calabar Municipal at about 3:00am on March 12, 2019.
The gunmen numbering about six shot at him and inflicted machete cuts on him. But Esin was said to have escaped through his window while the suspected assassins made away with his vehicle.
However, luck ran out of the bandits when security operatives got a distress call and gave them a chase; they later crashed the car at Timber Market where one of the suspects, identified as Ndifreke died on the spot. Ani is currently in receiving medical treatment in a hospital in Calabar.
Speaking, the political leader of Bakassi, Dr. Ekpo-Ekpo Bassey, a member representing Bakassi state constituency in the Cross River House of Assembly, said Esin was subjected to untold brutality with severe machetes cuts and gun shots with the intent to kill him.
Bassey said: “There is no doubt in our minds that this dastardly act was designed to silence Hon. Esin for his principled stand for truth on issues concerning Bakassi politics.
“After working tirelessly to deliver his party’s candidates in the just concluded elections, it would have amounted to the greatest injustice to deprive him of the fruits of his labour through an organised termination of his life.
“We call on the police, DSS, and indeed other security agencies in the state to speedily bring those miscreants to justice,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Eneyo Eyo, the Special Adviser to the governor on Communications, said it’s not true the assassination attempt was connected with misapplication of campaign funds by the security adviser.
He emphasised that Hon. Esin had served the area, state as well as the party diligently and re-echoed the call for the prompt arrest and prosecution of the culprits.
Also condemning the attack, the Senior Special Adviser on Inter-Party Affairs to Gov. Ben Ayade, Hon. Austin Ibok, called on the security agencies to spare no effort in bringing the perpetrators of the crime to justice.
According to him, “I want to call on the Department of State Service, police and indeed, other security agencies to speedily bring the miscreant to justice to serve as a deterrent to others.”
Hon. Ibok commended the swift intervention of Ayade in rescuing Mr Esin from the hands of the hoodlums.