The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio and presidential aspirant of the ruling party, is not recognized as senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom north-west.
Reports of Akpabio becoming a senatorial candidate of the ruling party came days after he stepped down for former Governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu at the All Progressives Congress presidential primaries.
Prior to this, former deputy inspector-general of police (DIG) Udom Ekpoudom won a primary organised for the Akwa Ibom north-west senatorial ticket on May 27.
Speaking to TheCable, Mike Igini, the resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom, said INEC officials did not monitor any primary outside the one conducted on May 27.
“Senatorial primary was conducted on the 27th of last month. Was he an aspirant on that day? The answer is no. And the report of that day has been written since.
“That event has taken place and concluded before the presidential thing came up. He’s the one people should be asking questions if he participated in that primary. INEC is not involved in the conduct of party primaries. We are just an observer.”
This is coming amid a leadership crisis in Akwa Ibom APC involving factions loyal to Akpabio who is a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and John Akpanudoedehe, former APC caretaker committee national secretary who has now defected to the New Nigeria Peoples party (NNPP).
Jackson Udom, chief press secretary to Akpabio also confirmed in a statement released on Sunday June 12, that the primary that produced Ekpoudom was organised by the faction loyal to Akpanudoedehe.