former National Secretary of the defunct Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, has described the purported primary election held in the state as a sham.
Akpanudoedehe, in a statement issued Saturday, said he had decided to resort to appeals at the highest levels to every authority directly or remotely invested with the power to investigate the election, with a view to full redress.
The governorship hopeful expressed shock about the reports on social and other media about the purported conclusion of the governorship primary after it was postponed to hold the following day.
Akpanudoedehe explained that members of the party’s Election Committee mandated to oversee the exercise flew into the state from Abuja, and en route to Uyo town, where they were joined by party members who sought to escort them to Sheer-Grace Arena, the scheduled venue of the event.
He stressed that he was later informed by his aides of a stalemate in Uyo between the Committee members and party faithful who, according to later findings, wanted to prevent the Committee and materials from being diverted to the wrong venue.
Akpanudoedehe stressed that upon being notified of the stalemate which had caused gridlock in a part of the capital city, he promptly called authorities of the Nigeria Police and the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to provide escort for the team, which both Commands responded swiftly by deploying their personnel to assist in the regard for purposes of safekeeping the Committee Members and the materials they came with.
He stated: “Issues were not readily sorted out for the exercise to commence as scheduled, and during the process of late-night negotiations on the venue, between political leaders with interests in the Primaries, the Chairman of the Election Committee, Omoba Tunde Ajibulu, communicated his decision to postpone the exercise for the day to Bar Mike Igini, REC, Akwa Ibom State claiming he was “traumatised”.
“He communicated his decision via a telephone call to the INEC Resident Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State (Mr Mike Igini), in the presence of the State Commissioner of Police (Mr. Andrew Aighemene), both of who were in the Sheer-Grace Arena venue where the event was supposed to hold.
“The decision also, communicated well after midnight, was announced to the national and State Press outfits which were present, by the INEC Resident Commissioner, in the presence of the Commissioner of Police, and teeming party loyalists.
“This, therefore, advised the termination of any further proceedings for the day, on the strength of which parties retired for the night, with the expectation of communication on a new date, and other details for the exercise.
“It was therefore with utter dismay and consternation that I awoke to reports of the conclusion of the primaries by the same Committee Members who were safely in the protective custody of the DSS for the night; and the announcement of results by the Chairman of the Committee, allowing majority votes to Mr Akanimo Udofia.”
Akpanudoedehe wondered how on earth such illegality could be taken to represent the conduct of a democratic process supposed to be free, fair and lawful.
He also wondered how such brazen criminality, godlessness, and show of absolute disregard for the laws which govern the party and the conduct of its democratic processes, could be reported as proper and lawful.
The former party scribe said one wonders how credible leaders could ever be produced in any society which employs the vehicles of blackmail, insensitivity, illegality and extremely wicked desperation and depravity, to foist political representatives on a people.
Akpanudoedehe stressed, “I wish by this statement also, to assure the public of my decision to resort to appeals at the highest levels to every authority directly or remotely invested with the power to investigate the sham which has occurred, with a view to full redress.
“I wish by this statement to intimate the public with the facts of what transpired on May 26th, 2022, and which dubious social media reports acknowledge as the exercise of an acceptable democratic process.”
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