Akan Udofia, the billionaire businessman that defected just last week to the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared winner of the Akwa Ibom State governorship primary of that party.
Udofia who contested for the party’s ticket with seven others. polled a total of 1227 votes to beat his closest contender, Senator Ita Enang who scored 34 votes.
Professor Chris Ekong followed with 21 votes, Uduak Udoh seven votes, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe two votes Richard Anana two votes, Larry Esin one vote while Augustine Utuk scored zero even as 19 votes were voided
Reacting to the victory, Udofia who dedicated his it the people of the state, promised to bring prosperity to the state if election governor in 2023.
“As someone who has been blessed by God, my interest in the leadership of our state is clearly a function of my desire to give back to society through selfless and effective service.
“My emergence as the APC gubernatorial flag bearer today is a victory for every Akwa Ibom citizen, who desires development for our dear state and the prosperity of its people
“As we progress into the forthcoming gubernatorial elections, I urge you to keep up the good work as we prepare to coast to victory.
“I hope to deploy my local experience, vast network and global connections, to make this collective dream for a better Akwa Ibom, a reality”. He said.
The APC governorship primary was not without intense struggle and intrigues between the factions of Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator John James Akpanudoedehe.
Daily Sun learned that the two factions had battled for the possession of materials for the primary at the Victor Attah International Airport and there after along Oron road by Udo Udoma avenue.
“While the Akpanudoedehe’s group wanted to take the materials to Sheer Grace Arena, venue of its prImary, Akpabio’s faction also struggled to take the materials to its state party office at Ekpo Obot street, Uyo.
“The operatives of the Department Of State Security (DSS) later took custody of the materials with the agreement from both factions that the primary be postponed”. A party source who craved anonymity said.
Another party source from the Akpanudoedehe’s camp, however alleged that the DSS released the materials to the Akpabio’s camp in the midnight of Thursday and the exercise was later conducted.
“I don’t know how they did it but we suspect that the DSS colluded with the Akpabio’s camp and released materials to them against the agreement we had that the primary be postponed to afford us time to settle all issues and contentions”, the source said.
The INEC Resident National Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Mike Igini on his part told journalists that the Independent National Electoral Commission does not recognize the primary conducted by the Akpabio group.
Igini said INEC acknowledges the state leadership of the APC led by Austin Ekanem supported by Senator Akpanudoedehe.