…Insists Akpabio is innocent of allegations over election malpractice, violence
By Ekemini Simon
Leaders and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Essien Udim Local Government Area of Always Ibom State, have described the victory of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 9th March 2019 election as a pyrrhic victory which will be overturned in their favour at the election tribunal.
The APC chieftains stated this on Thursday during a press conference held at NUJ Press Centre, Uyo, the state capital.
In his address on behalf of the party, a Chieftain of APC, Arc Ubok-utom Nya noted that the 9th March 2019 election will go down in history as “the biggest, most elaborate fraud executed by the Akwa Ibom State Government.”
They alleged that election malpractice was carried out by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel in collusion with Akwa Ibom State Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and superintended over by Mr. Mike Igini, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, whom they insisted was compromised during the election.
The party noted that Akwa Ibom people, foreign and domestic observers will be interested to witness how Akwa Ibom State Government and INEC will defend what they described as electoral heist and day light robbery at the tribunal.
The APC reported that recently one of INEC trucks conveying ballot papers earlier voted in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were being transported to a location near INEC office in Uyo for destruction and subsequent replacement with ballot papers fraudulently thumb printed in attempt which they said is to cover tracks against inspection by the tribunal panelists.
They said that in the process, one of the vehicles got involved in an accident in Abak spilling and exposing the thousands of the ballots voted by Akwa Ibom people in favour of the APC.
The APC added: “The truck driver on interrogation confessed that that was the sixth trip that day shuttling to different PDP stalwart houses in different locations in the state to convey APC voted ballot papers for destruction.
“The occupants of the ill-fated truck have confessed to the brazen robbery perpetrated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under the supervision of Mr. Mike Igini. The accidented truck with some of the contents is still parked at the Police Station in Abak. We have it on good authority that spirited attempts are being made by the PDP administration in Akwa Ibom State in collusion with INEC to destroy the evidence of the electoral fraud.”
The party insisted that unlike reports making the round that chieftains of the APC in Essien Udim especially Senator Godswill Akpabio had perpetuated electoral malpractice and violence, chieftains of the PDP were the real culprits.
They mentioned those involved to include, one Anthony Luke (alias Aluko), an aide of Governor Udom Emmanuel, Barrister Imowo Okpokpo, a PDP stalwart, Prince Ukpong Akpabio (Commissioner for Investment and Commerce, Akwa Ibom State), Chief Michael Afangideh, Mr. SunyiekekereInokon (Deputy State Chairman, PDP, Akwa Ibom State), Solomon Inokon, Engr. Oliver Ebong, Elder Raphael Isobara (Chairman, Essien Udim) and Barr. Esse Umoh, (PDP House of Assembly candidate).
APC added: “Together with a gang of thugs, they snatched Okon Ward materials at gun point and kidnapped the INEC staff with materials. Surprisingly, they turned up at the collation centre at INEC office in Essien Udim with results from Okon Ward all in favour of their party, the PDP.
“It was when the collation officer insisted on collating the forged result that the APC agent raised an alarm and phoned Senator Akpabio and other APC leaders. Senator Akpabio immediately went to the Electoral Officer to lodge a written complaint against the collation of Okon Ward. The abducted INEC staff and Corps members confessed to the rigging before the Electoral Officer in charge of Essien Udim Local Government Area.
“At the Electoral Officer’s office, Senator Akpabio spoke to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini through the telephone of the Electoral Officer to lodge the same complaint and thereafter left the premises. When the results were collated and announced, Senator Akpabio was no where near the INEC office. So how come these so-called Elders could fabricate lies from the pit of hell in an attempt to malign the good name of Senator Godswill Akpabio, their own illustrious son?
“It is instructive that Senator Akpabio never had any soldier attached to him. Throughout the election, he visited only his polling unit and INEC office to lodge a complaint.
It is on record that the Divisional Police Officer of Essien Udim Local Government Area arrested some PDP stalwarts at the collation centre for intimidating and harassing Corps members and electoral officials and attempting to change Unit results in favour of the PDP that lost woefully in the entire Local Government.”
The All Progressives Congress Elders and stakeholders while condemning Senator Bassey Albert over his petition against Senator Godswill Akpabio on the floor of the Senate called on him to withdraw it and apologize to Akpabio insisting that Akpabio is innocent.
They said: “We must commend Senator Akpabio for his peaceful disposition and insistence on following the due process of the law. APC members should remain calm and law abiding while pursuing their legitimate claims at the courts. Finally, we advise these carrion feeders never to gloat over this stolen mandate. Their so-called gubernatorial victory can only be pyrrhic. Very soon those attempting to denigrate their benefactor shall soon see that Akwa Ibom people and Nigerians have no regards for ingrates.”