The All Progressives Congress stalwart and senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday described Governor Udom Emmanuel’s victory in the Saturday governorship poll as a purchased victory which must be reclaimed.
The Peoples Democratic Party candidates, and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel, was on Sunday declared the winner after he polled a total of 519,712 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Nsima Ekere, who had 171,978 votes.
But speaking with our correspondent in Uyo, Akapbio said it was too early for Emmanuel to celebrate, adding that the APC would explore appropriate legal means to retrieve its stolen victory.
He claimed that the results collated from the fields were different from the ones declared by the returning officers of the various local governments areas of the state, adding that the APC won the election at the polling units, but lost at the INEC office.
“I want to state categorically that those claiming victory, or those regarded as victors in the last election in Akwa Ibom State on the 9th of March should regard it as purchased victory. It was money at work. The people’s hopes were dashed.”
“So I want to tell Udom Emmanuel and his PDP that it is too early to celebrate; we will use appropriate legal means to reclaim that mandate” Akpabio said.
Akpabio wondered why the votes in his local government area, which was 74,000 in favour of the APC at the local government collation centre, was reduced to 60,000 at INEC office.
He accused INEC of employing the PDP members as collation officers, stressing that 99 per cent the collation officers.
“I don’t know why the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini, chose to become such a biased umpire,” he added.
But the Akwa Ibom REC, Igini, described the election as free, fair and credible.
He said “When we arrived at Akwa Ibom one year, six month and 10 days ago, we promised that we are going to deliver integrity-driven electoral process. That is what we delivered.”
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, could not respond to Akpabio comments as neither his Chief Press Secretary, Ekerette Udoh, nor his Information Commissioner, Charo Udoh, responded to calls made to them.
But the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Ini Emenobong, said, “Akpabio statements show that he is a drowning man.”
He said, “The PDP won in all the 31 local government areas of the state and that cannot be disputed.
“What is he going to tell the court in the face of glaring cases of intimidation and threats that he and his party unleashed on our people?”