Ekpenyong urges Akpabio to accept defeat
Reacting to the court verdict, which struck out a case instituted by Akpabio, Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor, said Akpabio’s decision to withdraw the case was a right decision, because “no man can challenge the divine mandate freely endorsed by the people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district.”
He urged Akpabio to demonstrate the spirit of sportsmanship, instead of overheating the polity by giving the people false impression that he was rigged out during the election.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, sitting at the Apo, Abuja Judicial Division, yesterday, struck out a post-election matter instituted by Akpabio, following his defeat by Ekpenyong in the February 23 National Assembly elections.
Ekpenyong defeated Akpabio by 118,000 votes to 83,000 votes, forcing the former governor to run to Abuja court, in suit no: FCT\HC\M\2680\19, to seek an order of
mandamus compelling INEC to review the result.
However, the presiding Judge, Justice Valentine Ashi, dismissed the matter, following an application by the Counsel to
Akpabio, Mr. Sunday Ameh (SAN), that the case be withdrawn.
According to Ekpenyong: “In 2011, I had done everything to go for senate, but he tricked me to step down for another person, even when I and the former minister of Petroleum, Atuekong Don Etiebet, had knelt down to beg then President Goodluck Jonathan to give him (Akpabio) soft-landing to go for a second term.
“When I did all of these, I was conscious of the fact that there must be one governor at a time and that it was his own time as designed by God.
“So, this current mandate of the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District has also been ordained by God for me to lead the people of my zone and to show them leadership direction from the senate in the next four years.
“We are a highly republican people; we don’t have what they called dynasty in other places. In Annang ethnic nationality, leadership must evolve for the dividends of democracy to spread across all the 10 councils that constitute the district.
“Therefore, I am assuring the people that I will run for only one term of impactful and purposeful leadership that will ensure every facets of the district is touched by serious transformation and socio-economic development,” he said.
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