A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Eric Akpan, has reacted to a viral photo of him kneeling for Akanimo Udofia, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Mr Udofia, hails from Nsit Ibom Local Government Area where Mr Akpan is serving out his second term as council chairperson and also doubled as the PDP House of Assembly candidate for the area in Saturday’s election.
Before defecting to the APC, where he secured the governorship ticket of the party, Mr Udofia was a member of the PDP in the state.
It was alleged that Mr Akpan had collapsed his structure for Mr Udofia ahead of the election after the photo went viral on the internet, an allegation the PDP chieftain has dismissed as “fake.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Mr Akpan’s campaign council confirmed that the viral photo is that of the PDP chieftain but said it was taken during the local government electioneering campaign when Mr Akpan consulted Mr Udofia for his second term aspiration – Mr Udofia was a member of PDP then.
Akwa Ibom State conducted its last council election in October 2020 while council officials were sworn into office in December same year.
The campaign council described the House of Assembly candidate as a political “heavy-weight” whose loyalty to the ruling PDP “cannot be questioned.”
It further said that Mr Akpan has not entered into any agreement with the APC governorship candidate.
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The campaign described an online report on the photo as “falsehood, malicious and misleading”.
“Mr Akpan has demonstrated strength and capacity in the political scene,” the statement said.
“That Rt. Hon. Eric Akpan is still the PDP candidate for Nsit Ibom State Constituency and with his wider acceptability based on his track record shall emerge victorious alongside Pastor Umo Eno at the polls.”
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