From Joe Effiong, Uyo
All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates for Eket federal constituency of Akwa Ibom, Eseme Eyiboh, has said Akan Udofia remains the governorship candidate in the state.
Briefing newsmen in Uyo, he said the declaration by the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, that APC has no gubernatorial candidate was not only false but contemptuous.
The former spokesperson of the House of Representatives during Dimeji Bankole’s speakership, appealed to Nigerians to disregard any insinuation that Udofia would not be listed on the ballot.
“It is not true that APC does not have a governorship and other candidates for the 2023 general election.
“The Akwa Ibom chapter of the party had followed all stipulated procedures in the conducts of the various primaries. At this point in time, it is pertinent to seek answers to some specific questions.
“How could Igini have gone to the Sheer Grace Arena for the governorship primary of APC? Was that the official venue contained in the circular issued by the Stephen Ntukekpo-led executive?”
Eyiboh stressed that the 42-page judgment of the Abuja Federal High Court delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on March 16, 2022 which declared Ntukekpo as APC chairman in Akwa Ibom State was so explicit that the former secretary of the party, John Udoedehe, has to withdraw his appeal, which further led to its dismissal by the Appeal Court.
“What we should be interested in is, ‘why should Igini constitute himself into a Supreme Court to upturn a judgement which appeal was further dismissed by the Appeal Court?
“While it is the duty of a political party to notify Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on its political activities, it cannot drag the commission into coming to observe them. It is the responsibility of INEC to go to the designated venues to carry out its duty.
“In the event that Igini left the approved venue of the primary to go to Sheer Grace Arena, you can then appreciate the fact that he may have been on a voyage of self-destruct,” he said.
On the emergence of Godswill Akpabio as candidate of the party for Akwa Ibom North West district, Eyiboh said the National Secretary of the party, Iyiola Onisore, had issued a circular indicating that the party would conduct the primary again.
He said the withdrawal of the winner of the previously conducted election, Ekperikpe Ekpo, necessitated the repeat of the election and that such could not have amounted to candidate substitution as falsely peddled by Igini.