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APC candidate tackles Akwa Ibom REC over party primaries

By Isaac Job

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Eket Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom, Hon Eseme Eyiboh, has said that the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) for Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini, was only on a voyage of self-destruction to have left Ekpo Obot Street, the approved venue of the party’s governorship primary to Sheer Grace Arena, where a parallel exercise in the state was held by a faction.

He said for Igini not to have recognised the Stephen Nkukekpo- led executive of APC in the state which is upheld by law, meant he was only making himself a Supreme Court.

He noted that it is only the Supreme Court that can upturn a judgement of a high court. Eyiboh, a former spokesman for the House of Representatives, was reacting to the report sent by Igini to INEC headquarters, that Akwa Ibom APC does not have a governorship candidate for the 2023 general election.

He stated this during a media interaction which was streamed live on Friday evening.

The report igini sent to Abuja reads in part: “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.” Eyiboh, however, stated that the failure of Igini to have personally observe the conduct of the governorship primaries, could neither invalidate the process, nor discredit the emergence of Mr. Akan Udofia, the APC governorship candidate in the state.

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He said, “It is not true that APC does not have a governorship and other candidates for the 2023 general elections.

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 Mike Igini have gone to the Sheer Grace Arena for the governorship primaries of APC? Was that the official venue contained in the circular issued by the Stephen Ntukekpo led executive?”

He explained that no lawabiding citizen can disobey a court judgement, except those who have no regards for the rule of law. He recalled the judgement of the Abuja Federal High Court delivered by Honourable Justice Taiwo Taiwo on March 16, 2022, which declared Mr Ntukekpo as the Chairman of APC in Akwa Ibom State adding that the judgement still subsists.

According to him the 42-page judgement was explicit, adding that Stephen Ntukekpo is the authentic chairman of the party in the state.

“What we should be interested in is, why should Mike 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 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 own duty. “In the event that Mike Igini left the approved venue of the primaries 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.

Speaking about the emergence of Senator Godswill Akpabio as candidate of the party for Akwa Ibom Northwest District, Hon. Eyiboh stated that the National Secretary of the party, Senator Iyiola Omisore, has issued a circular indicating that the party would reconduct the primary due to security infractions in the May 27, 2022, primary.

Eyiboh observed that the withdrawal of the winner of the previously conducted election, Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, necessitated the reconduct and that “such could not have amounted to candidate substitution as falsely peddled by Mr Igini.”

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