Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district, Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday vowed that the APC will ensure that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s victory at the March 9 governorship election is upturned.
He described it as a “purchased victory which must be reclaimed” and stated that it was too early for Governor Emmanuel to celebrate because the APC would exploit appropriate legal means to retrieve the mandate.
Governor Emmanuel who contested for a second term on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was on Sunday, declared the winner after scoring 519,712 votes to defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC) contestant, Nsima Ekere who polled 171,978 votes.
In Akpabio’s words, the results collated from the fields were different from the ones declared by the returning officers of the various Local Government Areas in the state.
But the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Mike Igini , insists that the election was free, fair and credible.
He said: “When we returned to Akwa Ibom one year, six months and 10 days ago, we promised that we were going to deliver integrity – driven electoral process and that all old things must past away”
However, Akpabio, who defected to the APC last year, maintained that his former party rigged the elections between the local government collation centres and the INEC office.
His words: “I was shocked when I saw the figures being brandished on the television. I wondered if they were the same results we got on the field that they were announcing on the television channels. This shows that Nigeria is in trouble .
“I want to state categorically that those claiming victory or those regarded as victors in the last election in Akwa Ibom State on the 9th of March should regard it as purchased victory. It was money at work. The people’s hopes were dashed.
“So, I want to tell Udom Emmanuel and his Peoples Democratic Party that it is too early to celebrate now. We will use appropriate legal means to reclaim that mandate”.
Akpabio alleged that his local government gave the APC governorship candidate 74,000 votes but it was reduced to 60,000 at the INEC office. He accused the electoral body of employing PDP members as collation officers, alleging further that 99 per cent of the collation officers, especially those sent to his local government, were card-carrying members of the PDP.
“My prayer is that this is not what would befall Nigeria ; otherwise , democracy is in peril,” the former Senate leader said.