By Isaac Job
The All Progressives Congress(APC) candidate for the Eket Federal Constituency in the just concluded primaries in Akwa Ibom State, Hon Eseme Eyiboh, has challenged his opponents to show evidence of their claims to victory during the exercise. The APC primary which was conducted on May 27, 2022, for the constituency, produced different outcomes as two other aspirants have also laid claim to victories following parallel primaries conducted in the constituency.
Speaking with newsmen in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, during a media interaction on Thursday, Eyiboh, who was declared the winner in the contest, challenged those laying claims to his victory to show which of the election committee panel conducted their primaries. He told his opponents that elections are not conducted with pieces of paper but with sensitive materials and ballot papers which are used in determining the authenticity of the process.
“There was a panel constituted by the APC to go and conduct the primaries, where was the panel? And I hear people saying that there was a parallel primary, who had the team, the panel that came to conduct. That is the number one question and it’s not a rhetorical question, it must be answered. Number 2, who were the other people that conducted the other primaries?
“Do people just take a piece of paper and go and conduct primary? No! there are sensitive materials where results are recorded and announced. These are things you use in determining the authenticity of who is doing what. The panel that produced the results and the other sets of people who were holding a convention of undisclosed purpose. You don’t even bother to find out what is the result of what they did. Who conducted it. Let them announce it and put the names of the panel members who disclosed it. These are the things we need to be aware of. There is one APC, there was one primary conducted and there was a result.”
Eyiboh, a former parliamentarian, who expressed confidence in his victory during the election, also debunked insinuations that there are factions in the APC in the state. He said: “So if you want to know whether there are factions in APC, there is no faction in APC. Why there are no factions in APC is that there is only one APC headed by Alh. Abdullahi Adamu and if you know any other one, you can bring him up.
“If you agree that the law recognises that there is only one APC, whoever is delegated by the instrument of the APC is the agent of the APC. So, if you agree that Adamu is the national chairman of the party, what is the structure of APC in Akwa Ibom State? We have Austin Ekanem, and we have Stephen Ntuekpo and the matter went to the Federal High Court. The court gave a judgement and the party headed by Abdullahi Adamu recognised the Stephen Ntuekpo-led exco by the judgement of the court. There is no other superior judgement. And after that, he went ahead to admit him on oath as the chairman of the party.
“This is very clear. Other parties went to court even when they were not interested parties as it were at the court of the first instance. The names and the persons were not mentioned. The party before the court are the court of the first instance. So, the court of appeal is asking for status quo to be maintained and what does that mean? Where were you before coming here? Where were they at the point of judgement at the Federal High Court? So, Ntuekpo is the state chairman of the party because he was the one declared by the court.
“Whether the court did what is in good faith is not a subject for you and me to debate. It is a subject of appeal and unless a superior court of competent jurisdiction decides otherwise, any other who is doing it is doing an ostrich dance in the theatre of the absurd.”