By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
Akwa Ibom state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to treat the withdrawal of Senator Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress, APC from Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial re-run election as a concession to defeat.
Briefing newsmen on behalf of the PDP on Friday, the State Publicity Secretary, Mr Ini Ememobong also called on INEC to declare that the APC has no candidate for the Court-ordered senatorial re-run in Essien Udim local government Council.
Ememobong insisted that Senator Akpabio and the APC cannot make any substitution in the matter as the law only permits a substitution upon the death of a candidate.
He alleged that there were plans by Senator Akpabio to use the judicial process to derail the conduct of the re-run elections, by instituting court actions to compel INEC to accept his withdrawal.
He challenged Akpabio to participate in the elections if he feels he could win the re-run election, stressing that even the calls for the removal of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini from Akwa Ibom was ill-motivated.
“The purported withdrawal of the Senatorial candidate is a clear face-saving attempt by Chief Akpabio, in a bid to avoid a recurring defeat by Senator Chris Ekpenyong, whom he had earlier boasted was not a match for him.
“We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to treat the withdrawal letter of Senator Akpabio as a concession of defeat and hold that APC has no candidate in the forthcoming Senatorial rerun due next year.
“We ask the commission to ignore and discountenance the shameless demand for the removal of Mike Igini as REC.
“This call is ill-motivated as he wants a REC that will allow him the liberty to concoct results in Essien Udim during the rerun, as that is the only way he can win elections there,” he stated.