Akpabio, ex-DIG Ekpoudom battle over APC Senatorial ticket

The immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the former Deputy Inspector General of Police, Udom Ekpoudom (Rtd.) are at loggerheads over the Senatorial ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Akwa Ibom North West.

Ekpoudom won the APC Ikot Ekpene senatorial primary election held on May 27, 2022, while Ekperikpe Ekpo, another aspirant was said to have won the same ticket in a nomination held on the 28th of May.

However, the Chairman of APC in the State, Mr Stephen Ntukekpo, during a rerun election of the Ikot Ekpene district announced that the previous election of 28th May was cancelled by the national body following reports of security infractions.

Ntukekpo said the NWC of the party ordered him to conduct a rerun on June 8, adding that he duly informed all the aspirants of the directives, even though DIG Ekpoudom never showed up during the exercise, while Hon Ekpo on his own collapsed his structure for Senator Akpabio who threw his hat in the ring, having withdrawn his presidential aspiration for Bola Tinubu, the party’s presidential candidate.

Senator Akpabio, during the rerun, was declared winner, having scored 478 votes out of 512 accredited delegates and was expected to fly the party’s flag, but DIG Ekpoudom in a statement on Sunday signed by his campaign DG, Hon Uwem Udoma, the Secretary, Obong Godwin Etokakpan and the campaign’s Director of Media and Publicity, Peter Idiong, described the June 8, 2022, midnight primary as “scam, unconstitutional, deceitful and legally defective.”

The statement assured the APC members in the Senatorial district that he will “under no circumstance, relinquish, withdraw or be substituted no matter the degree of pressure and inducement dangled by anyone”.

According to the statement, the mandate freely and expressly given to him to fly the APC ticket for next year’s Senatorial election remained sacrosanct and not a commodity for buying and selling.

“The 2023 DIG Udom Udo Ekpoudom (rtd.) Senatorial Campaign Organization has observed an absurd, ridiculous and highly provocative conspiracy with respect to the APC Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District Senate Primary election, validly won by Udom Udo Ekpoudom. We vehemently wish to reiterate and state as follows:

“The purported ‘scam election’ held on Thursday, 8th June, 2022 at the Skills Acquisition Centre in Ikot Ekpene is nothing but illegal, deceitful, unconstitutional, and legally defective.”

However, the Chief Press Secretary to Senator Akpabio, Mr Jackson Udom in a swift reaction, insisted that Ekpoudom never took part in both the cancelled primary and the reordered one.

He noted that the election where Ekpoudom reportedly won was not recognized by law.

“That contraption where Udom Ekpoudom was allegedly declared a ‘winner’, is not known to law and he couldn’t have been said to have won the party’s ticket, because you cannot build nothing on nothing,” he said.

He reasoned that the senatorial district election as directed by the national leadership of the party all over the country was conducted on 28th May, 2022, and not on the 27th May, as the one done by Ekpoudom camp.

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