Joe Effiong, Uyo
After two days of palpable tension, claims and counterclaims, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally officially declared Dr Christopher Ekpenyong winner of the Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) senatorial district of Akwa Ibom State.
The returning officer for the senatorial district election, Prof Peter Ojban who announced the result at the state headquarters of INEC, on Tuesday, said Ekpenyong polled a total of 118, 215, while Senator Godswill Akpabio of APC got 83, 158 votes.
Ojban said out of the 655,525 registered voters in the senatorial district, only 218,493 people were accredited to vote who later cast 202,387 valid votes.
Akpabio who was perceived as invincible in the election lost with a 35,057 vote difference to Ekpenyong regarded as an underdog in the election.
To further give the PDP 100 percent victory in the National Assembly elections in the state, Mr Nsikak Ekong, of the PDP, was equally declared winner of the Ikot Ekpene federal constituency election, thus sending home the incumbent, Mr Emmanuel Akpan, who defected with Akpabio in August last year to pick the APC ticket in his attempt to return to the house.
Both Akpabio and Akpan are from Essien Udim local government area.
The returning officer for the federal constituency, Dr Daniel Udo, said Ekong polled 29, 849 votes to beat Akpan who scored 22,052.
The PDP agent, Dr Anny Asikpo, said the party was satisfied with the outcome of the election, adding that it reflected the wishes of the people.
Asikpo explained that the results had to be declared at the INEC state headquarters as against INEC office at Ikot Ekpene because of perceived insecurity.