A foremost socio-political group, Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement, AILM, ha raised alarm over a plot by the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the All Progressives Congress, in Akwa Ibom to substitute his name for another candidate ahead of the re-run election in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
The group made this known during a press briefing on Tuesday 10th December, held at its secretariat in, Uyo.
The group’s Secretary-General, Solomon Abasiekong Esq said the APC is hurriedly planning to use the court to substitute Senator Akpabio for Obong Luke Ekperikpe Ekpo, a former member of the House of Representatives.
Ekpo represented Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency and was an aspirant for the Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial ticket on the platform of the APC in 2018.
Abasiekong said, “following recent announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that it will conduct court-ordered re-run elections including the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial district election in Essien Udim on January 25, 2020, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and chieftains of All Progressives Congress, APC are planning to substitute his name for another ahead of the re-run election in Essien Udim Local Government Area”.
“We have been reliably informed that Akpabio and some APC chieftains were at INEC headquarters yesterday, ( Monday, December 9, 2019) where they held closed-door meetings with some top officials of the commission to substitute his name with that of Honourable Ekperikpe Ekpo during the re-run election in Essien Udim Local Government Area.”
The group’s secretary said there is no known precedent in law to back this uncreative contraption that Akpabio and his cohorts are planning to throw at INEC and the judiciary.
The group says that the minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio is afraid to lose the re-run election in his own local government.
It is common knowledge in Akwa Ibom state that Akpabio has a mortal fear for free and fair elections. From available records, he either uses brute force to intimidate electorate and electoral officials to rig for him or bribes his way through. The results of the last election in the senatorial district clearly show that the people are tired of his antics and are ready to resist any attempt to alter the will of the people.”
“The obnoxious move by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs is the height of impunity, abuse of office and blatant lawlessness for which INEC should distance itself from. Akpabio was the candidate fielded by the APC and he must stand for the court-ordered re-run the election. It is illegal to substitute a candidate’s name from an election after such a candidate had stood for an election and was roundly defeated.
The group calls on INEC to resist the antics by the APC.