All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, Godswill Akpabio, accuses Governor Udom Emmanuel of buying his re-election.
Emmanuel, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and the current Governor of Akwa Ibom State, won his re-election bid with a total of 519,712 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Nsima Ekere, who had 171,978 votes.
Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday, Akpabio, however, claimed it was too early for Emmanuel to celebrate, adding that the APC would explore appropriate legal means to retrieve its stolen victory.
Akpabio said 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, implying 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.
The former governor 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.
“I don’t know why the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini, chose to become such a biased umpire,” he added.
Reacting to Akpabio’s claims, the 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.”
Meanwhile, the state PDP Publicity Secretary, Ini Emenobong, said, “Akpabio statements show that he is a drowning man.”
“The PDP won in all the 31 local government areas of the state and that cannot be disputed,” he added.
“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?”