Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ignore, discountenance and treat as a concession of defeat, the purported withdrawal of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial election. Akpabio, in a letter to the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole had announced his withdrawal from the rerun election ordered by the Court of Appeal, Calabar, citing as reason, his more important task as Minister of Niger Delta which demands more responsibilities to the nation, more especially, the Niger Delta region.
He had asked the APC to nominate another person to replace him in the rerun election, even as he asked the party to impress it on the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to redeploy the REC in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Mike Igini. But reacting to the letter, the PDP through its Publicity Secretary in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Ini Ememobong, wondered why Akpabio suddenly realised his responsibilities to the Niger Delta. He also asked INEC to ignore his call on the electoral body to withdraw Mike Igini as the Resident Electoral Officer (REC).
His words: “Why did he not withdraw before the Appeal Court judgment? If the Court of Appeal had granted the reliefs he sought for, would he have still withdrawn? Our party seriously frowns at the clowning attempts by Senator Akpabio to derail the electoral process in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, as we have on good authority that he intends to use the judicial process to prevent the conduct of the rerun, by instituting court actions to compel INEC to accept his purported withdrawal – this suit he intends to drag up to the Supreme Court if he loses.
“Senator Akpabio, who once boasted that he couldn’t lose an election should have been excited as he was earlier, to show the world that he cannot lose an election in his local government area. Why is he afraid of going for an election in his native Essien Udim? We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to treat the withdrawal letter of Senator Akpabio as a concession of defeat and hold that APC has no candidate in the forthcoming senatorial rerun due next year. Additionally, we ask the commission to ignore and discountenance the shameless demand for the removal of Mike Igini as REC.