Akpabio Warns Akwa Ibom Governor: Don't Celebrate Yet

APC chieftain who lost his senate re-election bid, Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday described Governor Udom Emmanuel’s victory in Saturday’s polls as a “purchased victory which must be reclaimed.”

Governor Emmanuel was, on Sunday, declared winner with a total of 519,712 votes to defeat his APC counterpart, Nsima Ekere who came behind with 171,978 votes.

But speaking with on the outcome of the elections in Uyo, Akapbio said 
it was too early for Governor Emmanuel to celebrate his victory, adding that the APC would exploit appropriate legal means to retrieve it.

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 APC won the elections at the polling units but lost at the INEC offices.

“I was shocked when I saw the figures being brandished on the television. I wondered if it they were the same results we got on the field that they were announcing on the television channels. This shows that Nigeria is in trouble.

“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 Peoples Democratic Party that it is too early to celebrate now. We will use appropriate legal means to reclaim that mandate,” Akpabio said.

Akpabio alleged that his local government, which reportedly gave the APC governorship candidate 74,000 votes at the local government collation centres, was reduced to only 60,000 in INEC office.

He accused INEC of “employing PDP members as collation officers,” stressing that 99% of the collation officers, especially, those sent to his local government area, were card-carrying PDP members.

INEC Dismisses Akpabio's Claims 
In reaction, Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, described the election as “free, fair and credible.”

He said, “When we returned to Akwa Ibom one year, six months and 10 days ago, we promised that we were going to deliver integrity-driven electoral process and that all old things must past away

“That is what we promised; that is what we delivered. We provided leadership; the people, the staff of the Commission and the entire electorate of this state. That is what we have done.”

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