The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Eseme Eyiboh, has reaffirmed that Akan Udofia remains the governorship candidate of the party for next year’s general elections in Akwa Ibom State.
In a chat with reporters at the weekend, Eyiboh said the declaration by the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mr Mike Igini that APC has no governorship candidate was not only false but contemptuous.
The former spokesperson of the House of Representatives urged Nigerians to disregard any insinuation that Udofia will not be listed on the ballot.
“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 queried.
He recalled the judgment of the Abuja Federal High Court delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on March 16, 2022, which declared Mr Ntukekpo as the Chairman of APC in Akwa Ibom State.
Eseme Eyiboh recalled that the 42-page judgment was explicit, a situation which he said, made the former secretary of the party, Senator John Udoedehe withdraw his appeal, which further led to its dismissal by the Court of Appeal.
“What we should be interested in is “Why should Mike Igini constitute himself into a Supreme Court to upturn a judgment which the Court of Appeal dismissed?
“While it is the duty of a political party to notify INEC of 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 their 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-destructing,” he said.
On the emergence of Senator Godswill Akpabio as the candidate of the party for Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District, Eyiboh stated that the National Secretary of the party, Senator Iyiola Omisore has issued a circular indicating that the party would conduct the primaries again.
Eyiboh observed that the withdrawal of the winner of the previously conducted election, Ekperikpe Ekpo, necessitated the need to conduct the primaries again, and that “such could not have amounted to candidate substitution as falsely peddled by Mr Igini.”
He said: “We should applaud and glorify Senator Godswill Akpabio for the strategic role he played in the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the presidential candidate of APC. Indeed, this shall bring enormous benefits for the entire Akwa Ibom people.”
He stressed that APC as a political party was populated by people who have high regard for the judiciary.