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After Failed Presidential Bids, APC Gifts Akpabio, Umahi Senatorial Tickets

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After their failed presidential bids, the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi have been elected as Senatorial candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

 

 

The ruling part cleared the way for Akpabio and Umahi to win the senatorial tickets by cancelling the primaries held in the two constituencies two weeks ago.

 

Akpabio clinched the seat for the Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) senatorial district for the 2023 general elections, while Umahi got that of the rescheduled Ebonyi South APC Senatorial primary election.

 

The Ebonyi governor had Cunningly put his younger, brother, Austin Umahi forward two weeks ago and he emerged as the winner of the election.

 

 

Shortly after he lost at the presidential primary, the party canceled the senatorial primary election for Ebonyi South and rescheduled it for Thursday June 9th, in order to beat INEC’s deadline.

 

The rescheduled Ebonyi South primary election was held at Afikpo North Local Government Council, with Governor Umahi clinching the party’s ticket.

 

Akpabio also won the rescheduled election, a day after stepping down for Bola Tinubu in the APC Presidential primary.

 

Out of 540 delegates, 512 were accredited to vote, with Akpabio polling 478 votes to emerge winner of the primary held at Godswill Akpabio empowerment centre in Ikot Ekpene local government.

 

Other aspirants, included Sir Joseph Akpan, who had one vote, DIG Ekpo Udom, who initially won the first primary scored three votes, while 11 votes were void.

 

Former member House of Representatives, Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo had before the commencement of the exercise announced his voluntary withdrawal from the race and directed his delegates to cast their votes for Akpabio who he described as a father, leader and mentor.

 

He said, “The first primary took place on May 28th and all of you were there. Today, our father has joined the race. I, Obong Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo, former member of the House of Representatives, a son of this senatorial district, I plead with all my delegates to identify with our father, and I return all the delegates to vote for him.

 

“I don’t think we should do anything to undermine the person God has given to us as a leader. The person is Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio. I call all my delegates once again to support him. With that, I have withdrawn my aspiration to the Senatorial seat.”

 

Addressing the delegates, Akpabio thanked them for finding him worthy to represent them again in the Senate come 2023 and promised to bring more infrastructure, human capital development and youth and women empowerment to the district if he wins the 2023 senatorial election.

 

Akpabio said: “I recall when you gave me the first mandate in 2015 to 2019; I recall that there is no Senator ever that did the kind of empowerment I did for you.

 

“I know a lot of projects were done across the 10 local government areas, from markets to water projects, to electrification projects, to building of classroom blocks.”

 

The State APC Chairman, Mr. Stephen Ntukekpo had disclosed that he was directed by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to carry out the fresh primary in the district , citing security infractions as reason for the cancellation of the first primary held on the month of May 28, 2022

 

“There were some infractions in the primaries held about two weeks ago and I was directed by the National Working Committee to carry out a rerun.

 

“We have about four aspirants in this exercise. They were all informed and are fully aware. The aspirants are Sir Joseph Akpan, DIG Ekpo Udom, Obong Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo, and Senator Godswill Akpabio.” he said.

 

The five-man committee that monitored the primary was led by Sir Sylvester Okonkwo. The Secretary was Alhaji Salisu Isa, and Mrs Bunmi Imolehin, who was the Returning Officer, among others.

 

The primary was equally witnessed by INEC officials and security operatives.

Culled from THISDAY

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