Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. Photo: ELOMBAH
The sudden pull out of the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio from the scheduled January 26, 2020 concluding supplementary election for Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom NorthWest Senatorial, is seen by many as a welcome development, especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) folks.
They say a bird at hand is worth millions in the bush. Even though the PDP guys are equally happy with his pull out, some see it as smart escape from imminent trouncing, especially with an uncompromising Resident Electoral Commissioner.
Akpabio had in a letter addressed to the National Chairman of APC said: “I have taken into consideration the critical national assignment bestowed on me by Mr. President, which will be of immense importance to Nigerians and in particular the indigenes of the Niger Delta region and have resolved to remain in office as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to further discharge my contributions and services to our great fatherland.
“It is on the premises of the foregoing and particularly in line with the provisions of Section 35 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) that I write to formally and voluntarily withdraw my candidature as the candidate of the APC for the forthcoming Court-ordered rerun Election for the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District…”
With this withdrawal from the race, some persons have maintained that after a careful analysis of the Appeal Court judgment, it is clear that the rerun was based on issues of massive irregularities and violence in Essien Udim, which INEC raised both at the tribunal and Appeal Court.