A retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police and senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) district, Mr. Udom Ekpoudum, has urged his supporters in the state to remain calm despite the fact that the All Progressives Congress (APC) sent Senator Godswill Akpabio’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) instead of his.
He stressed that there is no cause to raise alarm yet.
He assured them that the purported submission of Senator Akpabio’s name to the INEC by the leadership of the party was done to beat the INEC deadline.
Senator Akpabio was declared the winner in a reconducted primary held at midnight at the Skill Acquisition Centre, in Ikot Ekpene on June 9, 2022, after Ex-DIG Ekpoudom had been declared winner in the first primary conducted on May 27, 2022.
This was contained in a statement by his campaign director, Hon Uwem Udoma titled “2023 Akwa Ibom North West APC Senatorial Ticket: ‘No cause for alarm’.
According to the statement, which was made available to our correspondent in Uyo, the Ex-DIG said INEC had acknowledged that it never monitored the midnight re-run which led to Senator Akpabio’s emergence, adding that at the appropriate time it will release the name of the authentic flagbearer for the district.
The statement reads in part, “The DIG Udom Ekpoudom (retd) APC Senatorial Campaign Organization, has been inundated with inquiries by our numerous supporters on the purported submission of Senator Godswill Akpabio’s name to INEC by the national leadership of the APC as the flagbearer for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial seat.
“It could be recalled that INEC had publicly acknowledged that it never monitored the midnight primary that allegedly produced Senator Akpabio after he lost the APC presidential primary, in view of the fact that the Senatorial primary for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District lawfully held on May 27, 2022, where DIG Udom Ekpoudom (Rtd) emerged the winner and was at no time canceled, nullified, or declared inconclusive to warrant a “rescheduled election”.
“Finally, the DIG Udom Ekpoudom Senatorial Campaign Organization urges its teeming supporters to remain calm and be rest assured that while the submission of “candidates” names to beat INEC’s deadline was expected, the Commission as regulator shall at the appropriate time, in line with the law, publish the name and particulars of the rightful flagbearer who won the Senatorial primary and who shall lawfully be on the ballot for the 2023 general elections and that name, unarguably, shall be DIG Udom Ekpoudom (retd).
“No man should play God with the people’s mandate.”