NDDC Board: South-south elders back Akpabio

By Chioma Onuegbu

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Atuekong Don Etiebet, has advised immediate past Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to step down for retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Udom Ekpoudom for Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district seat in the 2023 election.

Etiebet, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, gave the advice yesterday,  while reacting to a question by one Mr Nsikan Ekere posted on a WhatsApp group.

He claimed that Akpabio risks defeat if he does not toe the path of honour as Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district would only rally support for senatorial candidate from Abak 5 axis in 2023.

Ekere had, in the WhatsApp post, queried why the emphasis on the 2023 Senate race should be on Abak federal constituency when Senator Ukpanah, Bob Ekarika and Donald Etiebet had earlier gone to the Senate.

“Since 1960, Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constuituecy has gone to Senate three times 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,” Ekere recalled.

But  reacting,  Etiebet noted: “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. 

“When brother dey chop, other brother no chop, it is not good. This time around the Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika federal constituency which has not gone to the Senate since 1960 should be given the ticket.”

The former Minister noted that since the Peoples Democratic Party, has agreed to this as Senator Christopher Ekpenyong from Ikot Ekpene/Essien Udim/Obot Akara federal constituency has stepped down for Emmanuel Enoidem from Abak federal consituency it is, therefore, natural justice that Akpabio should step down for Ekpoudom for the APC Senate seat.

He regretted that rather for Akpabio has run back from his failed presidential attempt to embark on all the “shenanigans to be declared the senatorial candidate for the District again by a Court Order.

“That’s why the whole of Abak-5 made up of the five Local Government Areas of the former Abak Division in Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District has resolved to back a candidate from Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency from any party to win if APC must field a non Abak-5 Candidate.

“The Abak-5 still calls on him (Akpabio) to step down from his Court ordered candidature for DIG Ekpoudom rtd to avoid a disgraceful defeat. I state this for the understanding of all.”

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