Akpabio, Ekpenyong’s DGs in war of words over rerun poll

Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio and his opponent Senator Chris Ekpenyong are in war of words over the rerun poll for Essien Udim local government area of Akwa Ibom state.

The Appeal Court sitting in the neighbouring Calabar, Cross River state, had ordered a rerun to determine the actual winner of Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district.
However, the Director-General (DG) of Akpabio Campaign Organisation, Dr. Chris Akpan and the All Progressives Congress (APC) said they won’t participate in the rerun until the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mike Igini is removed.
This has drawn the ire of the deputy Director General (DDG) of Senator Chris Ekpenyong’s Campaign Organisation (Ubokutom Abasi Campaign Organisation), Obong Bassey Inuayen.
Inuaeyen dismissed Akpabio’s DG’s position as a plot to whip public sentiments, maintaining that “Akpabio has no grassroots support to defeat Senator Ekpenyong in the rerun election”.
“We are not in any way taken by surprise by this kite being flown by Senator Akpabio’s Campaign Organisation because we already knew that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and his party, the APC, do not have the necessary grassroots support to contest and win a free and fair election anywhere in Akwa Ibom and would come with unreasonable demand that the state REC be removed because of a rerun election in just one Local Government Area”, Inuayen stressed.

He added that “their insistence on the redeployment of Mr. Igini as Akwa Ibom INEC REC, as a precondition for participation in the rerun is a glaring acknowledgement and display of their electoral weakness and fear of the resounding defeat that awaits them at the rerun”.
The DG, who noted that the cancellation of Essien Udim result by INEC and the Appeal tribunal was borne out of excess electoral frauds, said the PDP and Ekpenyong were optimistic of again winning the rerun given the fact that “the eyes of the whole world will be focused on Essien Udim” as there will be no room for violence, votes allocation and ballot boxes snatching.”
He, therefore, advised party supporters and stakeholders to remain calm while awaiting the official timetable for the rerun election from INEC.
Source: thenationonline

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