Akwa Ibom Speaker, ex-PDP Legal Adviser, former Commissioner, win senatorial primaries

By Isaac Job

The Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Aniekan Bassey, immediate past National Legal Adviser of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem and former Commissioner for Economic Development, Dr Ekong Sampson, were elected as candidates for three Senatorial seats on the platform of PDP for 2023 general elections the Trumpet gathered.

Bassey clinched the party’s ticket as candidate for Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District (Uyo) after two opponents have boycotted the exercise. In Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District the former National  Legal Adviser of PDP, Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem, pulled a total of 329 votes from 334 accredited delegates across 10 local government areas in the senatorial district to emerge as flagbearer of PDP in the area. A breakdown of delegates from wards in the senatorial district comprised Ika Local Government Area (31),  Ikot Ekpene (34), Abak (34), Ini (31), Essien Udim (34), Etim Ekpo (31), Oruk Anam (40), Obot Akara (31), Ukanafun (34) while Ikono Local Government Area had 34 delegates.

However, the former Commissioner for Economic Development, Dr Ekong Sampson, polled a total of 368 votes to win the ticket for Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District while the member representing Eket Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Patrick Ifon, scored 1 vote and Francis Uduyok representing Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin and Eastern Obolo Federal Constituency scored 11 votes.

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The Trumpet gathered that another aspirant, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen, boycotted the exercise conducted at Special Protection Unit of Nigeria Police Force Base 27 in Onna Council Area of the state. Reacting to the victory, the candidate for Akwa IbomNorth-West Senatorial District (Ikot Ekpene), Enoidem, said he was exceedingly happy to have the total votes from the electoral college.

“I’m going to treasure this for the rest of my life. I know I am going to the Senate because nobody who has ever gotten the PDP Senatorial ticket has ever lost and I am not going to break that protocol,” he assured.

He extended an olive branch to his opponents, stating that the PDP is a large family that is big enough to accommodate all. Other contestants for the Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District) primary included Dr Saviour Enyiekere, Hon. Akan Eyo, Mr Odoro Edwin and Chief Inibehe Okori while the former Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel who bought the Senate nomination form for Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen, pulled out of the contest in protest for what he described as contempt of court.

“I am in possession of an enrolled order of Court wherein it pronounced that the Peoples Democratic Party which I am a member should maintain status quo ante bellum in a case involving whether or not the contentious issue of Adhoc delegates be used for the election of flag bearers of the party for the forthcoming general elections,” he said

Meanwhile, one of the aspirants for Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District, Hon Inibehe Okorie, has petitioned the Chairman of PDP National Assembly- Senate Primary Election Committee in Akwa Ibom State, Barrister Edward Ayo Odugbesan, alleging non-participation in the exercise.

In a statement issued and made available to newsmen in Uyo on Monday, Okorie said his refusal to participate in the Senatorial Primary election in the state was predicated on Abuja High Court ruling between Hon Friday Iwok, others versus INEC delivered on 18th May 2022, directing the parties to maintain status quo ante pending determination of the substantive suit on ad-hoc delegates election in the state.

But in an interview, the state chairman of the party, Hon Aniekan Akpan, said there was no official report received with regards to the conduct of the exercise. He argued that the party has carried out all the instructions by the National Working Committee(NWC) of the party, adding that the exercise has no flaw.

“In Akwa Ibom State, we work on the directive of the National Working Committee. Akwa Ibom is PDP and PDP is Akwa Ibom, ” he said.

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