Two APC guber aspirants reject primaries result in Akwa Ibom

By Isaac Job, Uyo

Two aggrieved governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Senator Ita Enang and Mr Augustine Utuk, have protested and rejected the emergence of Obong Akan Udofia, as the winner of the party’s governorship primaries held in Uyo on Friday The Trumpet gathered.

Addressing a press conference in Uyo on Friday shortly after the APC gubernatorial primaries, Senator Ita Enang, the immediate past Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Niger Delta Affairs, who led other aspirants in the protest, noted that the outcome of the exercise was not in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Ita Enang disclosed that Akan Udofia is not a member of APC in his ward and claimed that the exercise was heavily stage-managed to have a predetermined outcome in favour of the purported winner.

According to him, all the aggrieved aspirants have written a petition to the National Executive Council (NEC) of the APC, to avert the crises which, he observed, could lead to the party not having a governorship candidate as was the case in Zamfara and Rivers State in 2019.

He said the purported winner of the APC governorship primaries in Akwa Ibom was on the ballot paper of PDP governorship primaries conducted at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium a few days ago and wondered how he sauntered into the venue of the APC primaries and later emerged the winner.

Ita Enang insisted that such irregularities and broad daylight robbery can dim the chances of APC in 2023.

“The name Akan Udofia, was a PDP member and governorship aspirant and had never defected and was given the ticket at a primary that was not monitored and supervised by INEC and security agencies.

“By God’s grace, we all filed out, praying and wishing that one of us shall emerge in a duly conducted process. Unfortunately, that dream for a peaceful and orderly conduct did not happen.”

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He queried the process by which the acclaimed winner of the primaries emerged in the state.

“The guidelines for the conduct of the primaries in the APC stipulates that aspirants should be furnished with delegates list. The party did not make this important document available to us. Only one aspirant was supplied the delegates list in the state, thus hedging the entire process in his favour.”

The senator recalled that while party delegates and supporters were already at the venue of the primary, delegate tags were being issued at the country home of Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio in Ukana in Essien Udim Council Area of the state adding that accreditation of delegates was not supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as required by law. He explained irregularities in the conduct of the APC primaries was perfected from the Akwa Ibom Airport where the officials were ambushed by paid thugs.

“The pandemonium had lasted for over four hours before the team chaired by Omoba Tunde Ajibulu, with Ms Evelyn Okere as Secretary, were rescued by officials of the Department of State Services.”

He, therefore, urged the national leadership of the APC and other stakeholders to explore a round table, a possible window to address the problem to avoid the experience of 2019 in Zamfara and Rivers State.

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