2023: Akpabio clinches Akwa Ibom APC Senatorial ticket
Former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has emerged the Senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North West under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2023 general elections.
The returning officer of the Senatorial primary held Thursday night in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Council of Akwa Ibom, Bunmi Moloye announced that out of the 512 accredited delegates, Akpabio polled 478 votes, while DIG Ekpo Udom (Rtd.) and Sir Joseph Akpan scored 3 and 1 votes, respectively.
Recalls that the nomination was held earlier on May 28, but was nullified following petitions bordering on security infractions.
According to the State chairman of the party, Sir Stephen Ntukekpo, who addressed the people before the nomination, the National Working Committee of the party mandated him to conduct a rerun of the election on Thursday, adding that he duly informed the aspirants concerned about the exercise.
He said, “almost a week ago, a similar exercise was conducted here and as a State chairman, I received a letter from the National Working Committee, indicating with strong words that there are some sufficient and profound infractions in the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district.
“They mandated us to rerun the same exercise today, on that note, permit me to introduce the committee members carefully selected by the National Working Committee. The five man committee is led by Sir Sylvester Okonkwo as the chairman.
“We have about three aspirants in this exercise and they have been informed about the exercise today and they are: Joseph Akpan, DIG Ekpoudom, Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, Godswill Obot Akpabio.”
One of the aspirants, Ekperikpe Ekpo, however, withdrew his aspiration and drummed support for Godswill Akpabio, even as he urged his delegates to vote Akpabio, whom he described as his father.
“Today, since my father (Akpabio) has joined the race, I plead with all my delegates to identify with him as I return all the delegates to vote for Senator Godswill Akpabio. With that, I have withdrawn my aspiration for the Senatorial seat,” he said.
However, DIG Ekpoudom, as well as Sir Joseph Akpan boycotted the primary and have not yet made public the reasons for their action.
Speaking on Thursday night at the Godswill Akpabio Empowerment Centre in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, where the re-run primary held, Akpabio thanked the people for finding him worthy.
“I thank the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district for finding me worthy to be given another opportunity to represent you in the Nigerian Senate. I recall when you gave me the first mandate in 2015 to 2019, I recall that there is no Senator ever that did the kind of empowerment I did for you.
“I know a lot of projects were done across the ten local government areas, from markets to water projects, to electrification project, to building of classroom blocks,” he stated.