Senatorial Ticket: Ekpoudom Optimistic of Victory as Akpabio Begs Him to Accept Party’s Decision
Okon Bassey in Uyo
Despite the submission of the name of former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswin Akpabio to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the national leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC), DIG Udom Ekpoudom (rtd) is still optimistic of flying the party flag for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district election come 2023.
This was just as Akpabio has appealed to Ekpoudom to accept the turn of event if he has the interest of the party at heart.
The DIG Udom Ekpoudom Senatorial Campaign Organisation in a statement issued weekend said there was no cause for alarm and urged his supporters to remain calm as, “no man should play God with the people’s mandate.”
“While the submission of ‘candidates’ names to beat INEC’s deadline was expected, the Commission (INEC) as regulator shall at the appropriate time, in line with the law, publish the name and particulars of the rightful flagbearer who won the senatorial primary and who shall lawfully be on the ballot for the 2023 general elections and that name, unarguably, shall be DIG Udom Ekpoudom (rtd).”, it stressed.
The statement signed by the chairman, Ekpoudom Senatorial Campaign Organisation, Rt Hon Uwem Udoma recalled that, INEC had publicly acknowledged that it never monitored, the primary that allegedly produced Senator Akpabio after he lost the APC presidential primary.
He reiterated that the senatorial primary for the senatorial district was lawfully held on May 27, 2022, where Ekpoudom emerged winner and was at no time canceled, nullified, or declared inconclusive to warrant a “rescheduled election”?
Meanwhile, the Senator Godswill Akpabio Senatorial Campaign Organisation in a statement weekend expressed shocked at the position of Ekpoudom to the decision of the national leadership of the APC.
“It is time therefore to sheathe the sword and look at the bigger picture in the interest of the party and the state.
“This continuous exchange of recriminations can never forge the needed unity the party so badly needs to win the upcoming election.
“We appeal to DIG Udom Ekpoudom as an Elder of the party and his supporters to close ranks and embrace the olive branch that shall come with inclusiveness and benefits for all,” it added.
Akpabio regretted that Ekpoudom had made serial but hollow claims that he won the ticket of APC to be on the ballot for the election of North West Senatorial District.
The statement added, “it is on record that Rt Hon Ekperikpe Ekpo contested and won the nomination which took place on May 28, 2022 at Ikot Ekpene Township in accordance with the timetable published by the party with necessary notifications served relevant agencies of government preceding the primaries as required by law.
“However the leadership of the party citing infractions ordered for a rerun via a letter signed by the National Secretary of APC and Ekperikpe willingly withdrew from that rerun primary urging his teeming supporters to nominate Senator Akpabio as the flagbearer of the party for North West Senatorial District
“DIG Ekpoudom’s claim that he is the rightful holder of the ticket of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District is patently against the grain of reality and truth and contemptuous to the wellbeing of the party.
“DIG Ekpoudom knows that the primary that purportedly produced him was not ordered by an EXCO that is known to the national body of the party and Law and therefore lacks legitimacy.
“For the Resident Electoral Commissioner to claim that he monitored the illegality rather than the approved primary which was widely publicised smack of a conspiracy deliberately arrayed against a section of the party.
“Steven Leo Ntukekpo led State EXCO of the party is the one recognised by the national hierarchy of the party and known to Law.
“So all authorisations pertaining to Congress should emanate from him and his EXCO otherwise the outcome would be deemed to be illegal, illegitimate and a mere bogus claim.”