Akpabio distance self from rerun in Essien Udim

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By Bassey Anthony, Uyo

Niger Delta Affairs, Minister Godswill Akpabio, on Saturday dissociated himself from alleged disruption during the rerun election in Essien Udim local government area of Akwa Ibom State.

Akpabio said his decision and that of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to stay away from the supplementary election was sacrosanct, and therefore should not be linked to the exercise in any way.

The minister was responding to insinuations in the social media linking him to pockets of violence and irregularities during the rerun in his area.

The minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, said in a statement that news “flying about linking Senator Godswill Akpabio to any rerun election in Essien Udim local government area, is fake.”

He added:”It is well known that because of higher national responsibilities as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio had withdrawn his candidature from the said election. He was replaced by the APC with Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo. The other candidates who were scheduled for the elections, Nse Ntuen and Emmanuel Akpan have written to announce their withdrawal from the elections.

“And just Friday, the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ini Okopido, at a widely publicised press conference announced that the APC will not participate in the rerun elections. So, on what basis would any sane human being link Senator Akpabio to whatever is happening in Essien Udim local government area? As I write, Akpabio is not even in Essien Udim. He’s in Uyo. He has no interest whatsoever in what is going on there and had advised his supporters to heed the call of the state APC and boycott the elections.”

Ekong alleged a plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to use thugs to cause mayhem and blame it on Akpabio.

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