Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has given reasons why he alongside the All Progressives Congress (APC) pulled out of the ongoing rerun election in Essien Udim local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
YaahooJournalist reports that the APC and Akpabio withdrew from the Akwa Ibom rerun elections barely 24-hours before the race.
Giving reasons for the decision, the state Chairman of the party, Ini Okopido, in a press conference on Friday at the party’s secretariat in Uyo, stated that the APC was withdrawing due to a perceived bias of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.
The Akwa Ibom APC Chairman expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the electoral umpire ahead of Saturday’s election.
According to Okopido, both Senator Akpabio whose candidacy was replaced with Ekperikpe Ekpo for the Senatorial District election and Nse Ntuen for Essien Udim State Constituency will not participate in the elections.
Okopido also accused the head of INEC in the state, Mike Igini, of showing bias towards the party, stressing that the electoral officers will not conduct a fair election.
On the other hand, Akpabio, in a statement on Saturday by his Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, said he shouldn’t be associated with the rerun elections.
The statement reads: “The news flying about linking Senator Godswill Akpabio to any rerun election in Essien Udim Local Government Area is fake.
“It is well known that because of higher national responsibilities as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio had withdrawn his candidature from the said election. He was replaced by the APC with Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo.
“The other candidates who were scheduled for the elections, Rt Hon Nse Ntuen and Rt. Hon Emmanuel Akpan have written to announce their withdrawal from the elections.”