2023: Good News for PDP as INEC Says APC Does Not Have Governorship Candidate in Southern State
- Ahead of the 2023 elections, INEC has said the Al Progressives Congress (APC) does not have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom state
- The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom, Mike Igini, revealed this in a report he sent to the INEC headquarters in Abuja
- It was gathered that the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the ruling APC has been torn apart by a factional crisis which made it impossible to conduct a valid primary election
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Uyo, Akwa Ibom state - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has no governorship candidate for the 2023 general elections.
Premium Times reported that the latest development was contained in a report sent to the INEC headquarters in Abuja by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom, Mike Igini.
Igini said in a letter to INEC headquarters in Abuja dated Friday, May 27.
“We wish to report that the APC governorship primary scheduled to hold on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at the Sheergrace Arena, Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State did not hold at all."
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The report added that INEC’s monitoring team, led by Igini, in the company of the Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom, Andrew Amiengheme, arrived at the venue of the primary for the third time at 6.45pm, without seeing anyone.
The heads of the two federal agencies were informed that the APC election committee members were held up by an angry group of APC members along a major road in Uyo.
The operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) later rescued the APC election officials that night and took them to their (SSS) facility in the city.
Akwa Ibom APC torn apart by two factions
It was gatherered that supporters of the two APC factions in the Akwa Ibom fought over the control of voting materials meant for the conduct of party primaries in the state.
The chairman of the election committee, Tunde Ajibulu had reportedly told Igini on the phone that he was unable to leave the SSS office because he was traumatised and could not go ahead with the primary.
Ajibulu reportedly told Igini that Sheergrace Arena was not the venue given to him by the party’s national office in Abuja to conduct the governorship primary and concluded that “all activities be postponed until he gets back at the Commission.
Igini at that point briefed the reporters who were present at the venue. He left the venue at about 10.30pm that day.
Akpabio-backed faction holds primary
Meanwhile, the APC faction that is backed by Senator Godswill Akpabio later held the governorship primary of the party around midnight at a different venue.
Akan Udofia who had joined the party less than a month before the primary was declared winner of the exercise.
John Akpanudoedehe dumps APC over crisis
A governorship aspirant and former national secretary of the APC, John Akpanudoedehe, because of frustration over the issue, defected to the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) where he secured the party’s governorship ticket for the 2023 election in the state.
It was gathered that the APC in Akwa Ibom had been torn into two factions because of a protracted battle between him and the former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Akpabio, over the control of the party structure in the state.
Akpabio wins APC Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial ticket
Meanwhile, Senator Akpabio has clinched the APC ticket for Akwa Ibom northwest senatorial district.
The former governor of the south-south state emerged the winner with 478 votes.
Out of the 540 delegates, 512 were accredited, of which Sir Joseph Akpan had one vote, DIG Ekpo Udom who initially won the first primary had three votes, while 11 votes were voided.