Senate 2023: INEC not aware of Akpabio’s emergence, REC says

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini, has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state is not aware of the June 9 re-run primary that led to the emergence of Senator Godswill Akpabio as the All Progressives Congress flagbearer for Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) senatorial district of the state.

This was coming shortly after he (Igini) had written to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, stating that there was no APC governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State.

The former Deputy Inspector-General of Police and senatorial candidate of the APC for Akwa Ibom North-West, Mr. Udom Ekpoudom, had said that he would not relinquish his ticket to Akpabio, no matter the pressure.

The Stephen Ntukekpo-led chairman of the party had, while citing security infractions in the May 27, 2022, APC primary in the district, claimed he was directed to conduct a re-run primary by the national headquarters of the party on June 9, 2022.

During the midnight re-run primary which was held at the Ikot Ekpene Empowerment Centre, the former minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State emerged the winner, having scored a total of 478 votes out of 512 accredited delegates, while DIG Ekpoudom (retd), who won the first primary, secured just three votes.

But Igini while fielding questions from journalists on Sunday, on the re-run primary, has said that the commission is not aware of the emergence of Senator Akpabio as the APC standard flagbearer for the district and therefore does not recognise his ticket.

“The primary was concluded May 27, 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 primary conducted on Thursday (June 9) that was monitored by INEC, none,” Igini was quoted to have said.