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Ekpenyong, Akpabio bicker over outcome of senatorial rerun poll


Representative of Akwa-Ibom North West Senatorial District, Christopher Ekpenyong and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, have continued to bicker over the outcome of the just-concluded rerun election.

Ekpenyong, who spoke to State House Correspondents after his victory at the senatorial rerun election on January 25, 2020 and taking his oath of office, said President Muhammadu Buhari did not get good security information about Akpabio before he appointed him minister.

He said the President should have got adequate security reports about his (Akpabio’s) antecedents in terms of character and work experience over the years, noting, “If you look at the records, in 2015 how many votes did President Buhari score? Because he was the man leading, he was abusing Buhari everywhere.

“The vindication is that even in the rerun, which he said he would not contest, but he eventually did, he brought the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and he wanted him to do his bidding, but God prevailed.”

Ekpenyong also alleged that Akpabio was notorious for rigging elections in Akwa Ibom State and, “So he has been fighting, thinking that the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, would be removed so that he can get electoral officer who will take his money, write the results and announce what he has written in his house, but God has vindicated us.”

But in a swift reaction, Akpabio’s Media Assistant, Ani Ekong, in a statement said, Ekpenyong should not gloat over the Igini-led INEC-aided victory in the Senatorial rerun election. If the REC was compromised to rig the election for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is that something to relish?

“In any case since December 2019, Akpabio had written to the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he had withdrawn from the election because of higher responsibilities as minister.

“It was on this premise that the party replaced him with a former member of the House of Representatives, Ekperikpe Ekpo.”
He explained that the state Chairman of the APC, Ini Okopido, also held a media briefing to announce that no candidate of the party would participate in the election because the REC had shown that he was not an impartial umpire.

“Card carrying members of the PDP who had contested in previous elections were appointed as returning officers and it was clear that the APC was going to contest against INEC,” he stated.

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