By Akanimo Kufre, Akwa Ibom/Cross River Correspondent of The New Diplomat
The Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to the withdrawal of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the planned Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial rerun Election.
Speaking with The New Diplomat, the APC Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr. Nkereuwem Enyongekere confirmed the story as genuine. “It is okay, it is an electoral information to INEC,” he said.
On the speculation that the party had already named a replacement for Akpabio in the rerun, Enyongekere said the process is on-going. “The whole process will come out and you will know.”
On the 9th of December 2019 which coincided with Akpabio’s birthday, APC’s head office in Abuja received a letter noting Akpabio’s retreat from the election.
In a letter addressed to the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole and dated 2nd of December, 2019, Akpabio said as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, a huge responsibility had been placed on him.
He said he couldn’t abandon a critical assignment placed on him by President Muhammadu Buhari in pursuit of a re-run election.
He urged the party to write the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in line with Sections 33 and 35 of the Electoral Act, 2010, and submit a replacement to run in his place.
“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 as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to further discharge my contributions and services to our great fatherland.
“It is on the premise of the foregoing and particularly in line with the provisions of Section 35 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) that I want to formally and voluntarily withdraw my candidature as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the forthcoming Court ordered Re-run Election for the Akwa lbom North-West Senatorial District.
“It will be inappropriate in the circumstance and pursuant to Sections 33 and 35 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) for the party to immediately communicate this withdrawal to the Independent National Electoral Commission and forward to her the name of another candidate of the party to replace me at the Court ordered Rerun Election for the Akwa lbom North-West Senatorial District,” Akpabio said.