The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State has announced that there is no All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate for the state for the 2023 general elections.
This was announced even after Mr. Akanimo Udofia was declared the winner of the APC governorship primary with a total vote of 1227 to defeat eight other aspirants at an exercise held at Ekpo Obot, Uyo, the state capital.
But, the Resident Commissioner, INEC, Mr Mike Igini, who did not recognise the exercise in his report sent to the INEC headquarters in Abuja said that the governorship primary scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2022, at Sheer Grace Arena, Nsikak Eduok Avenue, never held at all.
He stated that the commission’s monitoring team he led in the company of the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme, arrived at the venue of the primary for the third time at 6:45 p.m. and never saw anyone, and wondered how and where the APC conducted the primary without the knowledge of INEC.
“We wish to report that the APC governorship primary scheduled to hold on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at the Sheer grace Arena, Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State did not hold at all,” the report read in parts.
It was gathered that while a faction of the party loyal to Senator Akpan James Udoedehe was conducting its primary at the Sheer Grace Arena, the faction loyal to Senator Godswill Akpabio, was having its own at Ekpo Obot, street, Uyo.
Meanwhile, Senator Ita Enang, one of the aggrieved governorship aspirants in the state, has petitioned the National Headquarters of the party and the election committee calling for the cancellation of the exercise adding that Udofia is not a member of APC but rather PDP.
“I, therefore, appeal that the whole exercise in Akwa Ibom State is called off. Parties must come to the table to agree on the modalities, particularly those of the aspirants, otherwise, the whole process would be illegal.
“Mr. Akan Udofia is not an APC member. He is a PDP member, having contested and lost the PDP primaries on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. And the following day, May 26, 2022, he was purportedly to be on the ballot for the APC illegally declared. He cannot be on the ballot of both parties at the same time,” he said.