June 13, (THEWILL) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the primary 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.
THEWILL recalls that Akpabio, a Presidential aspirant of the APC, had on Tuesday night of the presidential primary of the party, dropped his presidential bid to endorse Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Ekpoudom had on May 27, 2022, won the primary election for the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District to clinch the APC ticket.
However, the State Chairman of the party, Stephen Ntuekpo, while citing security infractions in the May 27 primary in the district, claimed he was directed to conduct a fresh primary by the national headquarters of the APC on June 8, 2022.
The said primary produced Senator Akpabio as the winner of the primary election. He reportedly scored a total of 478 votes out of 512 accredited delegates.
But the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, said the commission would only recognise the winner of the primaries monitored by INEC.
Igini, who spoke to Daily Trust in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, on Sunday, denied the claim that the commission monitored the re-run APC senatorial primaries, where Akpabio emerged the winner.
“The primary was concluded on the 27th of last month, so I don’t know what you are talking about. 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, none”, he stated.
Igini also affirmed that the APC has no governorship candidate in the state, saying the governorship primary, where Akanimo Udofia emerged winner was not monitored by INEC.
The Akwa Ibom State APC chapter has been in litigation battles over its leadership before the APC presidential primary election. This prevented Akwa Ibom State delegates from voting despite Akpabio’s endorsement of Tinubu.