Former Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang as well as other aggrieved governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Akwa Ibom have rejected the the emergence of Mr. Akanimo Udofia as the party’s governorship candidate.
Udofia emerged as the candidate of the APC in a nomination exercise conducted at about 11:pm on Thursday at Ekpo Obot street with 1,227 votes.
In a press conference at the Correspondents Chapel on Friday, Senator Enang, flanked by another aspirant, Mr Augustine Utuk, noted that the outcome of the exercise was not in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Enang said that Akan Udofia is not a member of the APC in his ward alleging that the exercise was heavily stage-managed to have a predetermined outcome in his favour .
According to him, all the aggrieved aspirants have petitioned the National Executive Council (NEC) of the APC, with a view to averting the crises which, he observed, could lead to the party not having a governorship candidate as was the case in Zamfara and Rivers states in 2019 .
Enang warned that such irregularities and broad day robbery can dim the chances of APC in the state in 2023.
The statement partly read, “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.
“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 delegate lists 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 for the conduct of the APC primaries were 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, was rescued by officials of the Department of State Services.”
He, therefore, urged the national leadership of the APC and other stakeholders to explore, on a roundtable, a possible window to address the problem to avoid the experience of 2019 in Zamfara and Rivers States.
APC guber primary: Enang, others kick against Udofia’s emergence in Akwa Ibom