By Obio Monday
|Hon. Ani Esin|
The Cross River State Security Adviser South, Hon. Ani Esin on Sunday, opened up on why unknown gunmen attempted to assassinate him on March 12, this year in an unholy hour at his residence.
In a brief interview with journalists in Calabar, shortly after a Thanksgiving mass held at the Duke Town parish of the Presbyterian church Calabar, Esin stated that the attackers stormed his residence at about 2: am pulling down the door of his parlour and bed room and got him well beaten and inflicted cuts on his body with machete.
Ani, a former Council chairman of Bakassi LGA, stressed that his ordeal started when he was accused by some persons from his LGA that he cornered some cash which was purportedly given to him by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state to execute elections.
He said that such allegations were false adding that there was no money given to him at any point in time to disburse to the electorates in the area with regards to influenced or purchase votes.
The former Bakassi LGA boss stressed that his assailants held him captive and got him well tormented dragged him on the floor, hitting his head, hind and forelimbs with stones and machete after the gun which they pointed to his head failed to release the bullets which were meant to sniff off his life failed to be released even when one of the assailant’s gun could not explode even when the trigger of the gun was pulled.
Ani who spoke in an emotional laden voice said,
“For today, I just had a thanksgiving service to celebrate God for sparing me and family from an assassination attempt by unknown men. It was a terrible day and that is why I am here to return all glory to God Almighty.
“The only statement I could get was that the assassins were sent to attack me because I took election money. But in truth, I never did in any way.
“There was no election money given to me, the money that was available was for the general election for Bakassi Local Government Area where I come from and the money was disbursed accordingly.
“While I was in the hospital, I was told that the assassins took my car away and on their way, they had an accident while the security agencies were trailing them,’’ he said.
He said security was everyone’s business, adding that the state government was doing its best to improve security in the state.
“With the conclusion of the elections, we hope that things will return to normal because some of the security challenges occurred during the election period,’’ he said.
“if not for God who am I that a gun with life ammunition would failed to empty its bullets into my body, all that happened because God was with me”.
“I owe no man any dime, other than perform the task which Ayade, our dear and ebullient Governor gave men the mandate to perform”.
“I do not know where all this hatred and setting of the booby traps emanated from.”
When asked if he feel intimidated by the attack from the unknown gun men,” Esin responded, capital No! Stressing “the attack has even given me so much courage and strength to do my job”.
Esin, asked why should I be afraid, when I didn’t do anything wrong, and charged all Cross Riverians to put their hands on deck and ensure that the state and its environs is made habitable to all as security was every body’s business.
He said that the only money which was in his possession as at that time was money that was meant for general elections and not any cash meant to be shared as alleged by master minders of his assassination attempt.
Earlier in his sermon, the Prelate/Moderator of the General Assembly Presbyterian church Nigeria, his Eminence, Nseobong Ukpuho while suing for peace, forgiveness and repentance urged the Governor’s aide and other Christians in a similar situation not to seek for vengeance as it was only God who is qualify to dish out vengeance.
Ukpuho said,” forgive them let them go and battle with their hearts. If you have a stranger in your house and you have any good thing offer them and let them eat, God will allow his rain fall on the farm of those who will, after eating talk nonsense about you”.
“Those who try to give you a name you don’t answer, falsely accused you, and do a lot of things to bring you down will be the ones to fall and will not bring you down.” Ukpuho advised.
The service was attended by family and friends including a former deputy governor of Cross River, Mr Efiok Cobham, Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Austin Agbonlahor amongst others.