By Harris Emanuel
Akwa Ibom State chapter of All progressives Congress(APC) has taken the traditional rulers in the state to the cleaners over alleged meddlesomeness in the politics of the state, and support for Governor Udom Emmanuel led administration.
In a release, signed by the State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Nkereuwem Enyongekere, obtained by Vanguard, the party cautioned the state royal fathers not to mingle in the murky waters of Akwa Ibom politics but to be neutral, play advisory roles and maintain unity in the state.
The party condemned the traditional fathers for allowing themselves to be used by the state government for political purposes.
Besides, the party called on the traditional rulers to encourage what it described as a healthy and conducive political environment in the state as all the contenders were able qualified to vie for political offices.
He said, “We observed that the entire literature from the “royal fathers” is a belated endorsement of the conduct of the highly contested outcome of the March 9, 2019, General election in the states
“It is instructive to note that the release is an open chastisement of all Petitioners, particularly of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who participated in that contentious election and who have a plenitude of reasons to seek judicial intervention and review of the entire process and outcome of the exercise. That, of course, is the minimum provided by Law and expected of peace-loving and law-abiding citizens.”
The party reminded the Akwa Ibom Council of Chiefs that all candidates of the party that contested the 2019 elections are legally empowered to seek redress in the tribunal and to challenge the outcome of the elections if they felt unsatisfied with the process.
“The electoral process is essentially a creation of Law, must be conducted according to Law with inbuilt safeguards and red flags. The option of challenging the outcome of an election is lawful and legitimate as practiced even in the most developed democracies of the world. The Laws also provide ample opportunities for all parties to prove and defend their roles in any such contentious electoral exercise without inhibition including calling for evidence of observers and monitors.”
Akwa Ibom State APC berated the Chiefs for not filing their acclaimed reports of the “free, fair and credible” 2019 elections they monitored and observed in the state before the tribunals.
The statement added, “Apparently, our royal fathers who said they “participated and witnessed” the elections “as being totally free, fair, transparent and acceptable across the length and breadth of Akwa Ibom State” did not deem it fit to seize the golden opportunity to also file an Observer/Monitor report or better still, for grandiose effect, testify at the Tribunal as the Arewa Peoples Assembly (APA) frantically tried to do in the course of the proceedings.
“It is our respectful and regrettable view that our royal fathers have rather taken on the role and garb of political fathers who must relish the “success” of their political sons at the polls no matter what and how rather than fathers who encourage and applaud healthy and peaceful political engagement amongst their children without taking sides. The sanctity of the ballot is not determined by “who wins” but “how he won”! We must state for the umpteenth time that the legitimacy of an election is determined by the inviolability of the process.
“It is obvious that our royal fathers, by their posturing have constituted themselves into a Trado-political Tribunal whose verdict as captured in their publication is neither based on facts, Law nor good conscience.”