Former Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio has been warned to withdraw from the race for the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial seat.
The warning was handed down by former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Don Etiebet who noted that it is not the turn of Akpabio’s region in Akwa-Ibom State to produce the candidate for the seat.
He added that should Akpabio insist and contest the election, he would be disgraced at the polls because the people won’t vote for him.
Naija News reports Etiebet bared his mind on the matter while speaking with newsmen over the weekend.
Defending his position, Etiebet submitted that it is the turn of Abak 5 federal constituency not Ikot Ekpene federal, where Akpabio hails from, to occupy the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district seat.
He, therefore, called on Akpabio to concede the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket to DIG Udom Ekpoudom (Retd).
Etiebet said: “Since 1960, Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency has gone to Senate three times- Akaninyene Ukpanah, Donald Etiebet and Bob Ekarika whereas Ikot Ekpene/Essien Udim/Obot Akara Federal Constituency has gone five times – with Akpabio’s family twice in Nsima Akpabio and Godswill Akpabio whereas Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency has not gone even once.”
“The four Federal Constituencies of Ukanafun/Oruk Anam, Ikot Ekpene/Essien Udim/Obot Akara, Ini/Ikono, Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika, make up Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District and it is the considered opinion of all peace-loving people of Annang land that “Brother dey chop, brother no chop” is not good.”
“And that this time around the Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency which has not gone to the senate since 1960 should be given the ticket.”
Even PDP Agrees
Etiebet argued further that even the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) gave its ticket to support the ‘marginalized’ zone in the spirit of fairness.
“In the PDP Senator Christopher Ekpenyong from Ikot Ekpene/Essien Udim/Obot Akara Federal Constituency has stepped down for Emmanuel Enoidem from Etim Ekpo and Abak Federal Constituency.
“It is therefore natural justice that Godswill Akpabio who has even gone to the Senate once should step down for DIG Ekpoudom (Retd),” he stressed.
Akpabio On The List Based On Court Order
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) about two weeks ago, disclosed that Godswill Akpabio made the final list of senatorial candidates eligible to contest the 2023 general election based on a court order.
INEC said the court compelled it to display the names of Akpabio, David Umahi and some other candidates that were not recognised before.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered INEC to accept and publish Akpabio’s name as the APC candidate for the Akwa Ibom North-West District in the 2023 elections.
The commission had earlier refused to recognise Akpabio as a candidate because it did not monitor the APC primary, which the former governor of Akwa Ibom claimed to have won.