The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the primaries which produced Senator Godswill Akpabio as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district.
DIG Udom Udo Ekpoudom (Rtd) and the immediate past Ministry of Niger Affairs, Akpabio had been laying claim to the Senatorial ticket of the party. While Ekpoudom said he duly participated in the Akwa Ibom North West APC Senatorial District Primary Election held on May 27, 2022, in line with the 2023 Election Timetable and Guideline of our party, Akpabio was said to have emerged winner in the rescheduled primary for the senatorial district held last Thursday.
The State APC Chairman, Mr. Stephen Ntukekpo, had said he was directed by the party at the national level to carry out a re-run over alleged infractions in which Akapbio had emerged winner with 478 votes, while Ekpoudom got just three votes.
However, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini, said INEC would only recognise the winner of the primaries it monitored, denying claim that INEC monitored the re-run APC senatorial primaries that produced Akpabio.
He added: “The primaries was concluded on the 27th of last month. The one that was conducted was monitored by INEC and the report has been submitted to Abuja. INEC is not aware of any senatorial primaries conducted on Thursday (June 9) that was monitored by INEC.”
Igini reiterated that APC has no governorship candidate in the state, saying the governorship primary that produced Akanimo Udofia was not monitored by INEC.
Meanwhile, the 2023 DIG Udom Udo Ekpoudom (Rtd) Senatorial Campaign Organisation in a statement at the weekend described as ridiculous and highly provocative conspiracy with respect to the APC Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District Senate primary election it stated was allegedly won by Ekpoudom.
The campaign organisation noted that the primary election was properly monitored by INEC as constitutionally required, and “Udom Ekpoudom, was victorious and declared the winner and the party’s flagbearer.”
The statement signed by the Director General, Hon. Uwen Udom, Secretary General, Obong Godwin Etokakpan and Director, Media and Publicity, Peter Udiong noted that at no time did the party, “put our candidate, on notice of any cancellation of the Primary Election or that of conducting another Senatorial primary for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial seat.
“We want to put it on record that the mandate given to Udom Ekpoudom by the good people of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District remains sacrosanct and is judiciously guarded and protected.
“We hereby assure our party men and women and the good people of the Senatorial district that DIG Udom Udo Ekpoudom (Rtd) will under no circumstance, relinquish, withdraw or be substituted no matter the degree of pressure and inducement dangled by anyone.
“He believes in the mandate, and in the mandate, he shall stand to provide leadership and accelerate development for the senatorial district.
“Most importantly, the purported “scam election’ held on Thursday, 8th June, 2022 at the Skills Acquisition Centre in Ikot Ekpene is nothing but illegal, deceitful, unconstitutional, and legally defective.
“We hereby appeal to our supporters to remain calm and steadfast as the standard bearer is prepared to defend his mandate freely given to him by the good people of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District,”, the statement added.