The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) cannot win the Akwa Ibom South Senatorial rerun.
Naija News reports that the Appeal Court had ordered a rerun election to be conducted only in Essien Udim local government area.
Recall that Akpabio had withdrawn from the race and backed a former member of the House of Representatives, Ekperikpe Ekpo, who the APC picked as his replacement.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had said it was too late for the Minister to withdraw from the senatorial race.
Reacting in a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, Akpabio stated that his party cannot win as long as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, remains in charge of the rerun election.
The former Akwa Ibom governor accused the INEC official of hating the APC.
The statement read: “APC had, through the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the then acting national secretary, Victor Giadom, in compliance with the requirement for 45 days notice to be given for the substitution of candidates, written to INEC chairman to submit Ekpo’s name as Akpabio’s replacement in the election. This was acknowledged by INEC.
“Having withdrawn from the contest to face higher national responsibilities, we caution political jobbers to desist forthwith from their planned smear campaigns against Akpabio and unnecessarily heating up the polity.
“Akpabio will have no choice than to invoke the full weight of the law against anyone who engages in any plot to smear his name through sponsored, fabricated petitions. A word is enough for the wise.”
“We have no faith in Igini. Igini is a compromised official and avowed enemy of APC. We are distraught and doubtful of a change of posture and therefore cautious to go into a fresh election while Igini remains the REC.
“Only a foolish survivor would ask the same hired assassin to extract the bullet from his body.”