The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Akanimo Udofia’s name is not on the final list released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC published on Tuesday the names of governorship candidates of the 18 political parties for the 2023 governorship election in Akwa Ibom.
The names of the candidates on the INEC list include that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Umo Eno, his running mate, Akon Eyakenyi, and that of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, John AkpanUdoedehe, and his running mate, Godwin Afangideh.
The governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party, Bassey Albert, and his running mate, Asuquo Amba, are also on the list, and so is Iboro Otu of the African Action Congress.
The governorship candidate of the African Democratic Party, Ezekiel Nyatok, is also on the list.
Mr Nyatok, a renowned architect, first contested for governor of the state in 2007 but lost at the PDP primary to Godwsill Akpabio, who later won the general election and was elected governor.
Since then Mr Nyatok, who hails from Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom North-West District, has been consistent in contesting the governorship of the state.
Some little-known governorship candidates on the INEC list in the state include Ekere Essien of the Action Democratic Party. Mr Essien, 64, appears to be the oldest in the race, according to the document.
Other governorship candidates are Uko Okon of the Labour Party, Emem Udoh of the Social Democratic Party, and Nsikak Thomas of the Zenith Labour Party
Abasifreke Ekanem, 35, is the youngest governorship candidate in the race contesting on the platform of Action Alliance.
Mrs Eyakenyi, 62, a serving senator, is the oldest deputy governorship candidate, followed by Mr Amba, 61, a retired police chief.
All the 18 political parties published by INEC had their governorship and deputy governorship except for APC whose space is blank.
The Commission in the state had in a report dated 27 May, sent to its headquarters in Abuja in June said the APC had no governorship candidate for the 2023 general elections in the state.
“We wish to report that the APC governorship primary scheduled to hold on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at eh Sheergrace Arena, Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State did not hold at all.”
Although a faction of the party backed by the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, conducted the governorship primary a few minutes past midnight on 26 May, the primary was not monitored by INEC as mandated by the Electoral Act 2022.
This newspaper reported how the former Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mike Igini, and former Police Commissioner, Andrew Amienghene, left the venue of the primary at about 11 p.m., after the chairman of the congress committee, Tunde Ajibulu reportedly informed them he was traumatised and that the election would no longer hold on the said date.
However, hours after, the APC conducted the primary in which Akanimo Udofia, an entrepreneur who joined the party a few days before the primary, emerged as the winner.
Mr Udofia, an engineer, reportedly polled 1227 votes to defeat a former presidential aide, Ita Enang, who scored 34 votes, while 19 votes were voided.
Mr Enang, who came second, is challenging the declaration of Mr Udofia as the winner of the primary on the grounds that Mr Udofia was not a member of the party at the time the primary was conducted.
Mr Udofia, on his part, has sued INEC over his non-recognition as the APC governorship candidate in the state.
Among Nigeria’s numerous national challenges, which do you think the next president should focus on first?— Premium Times (@PremiumTimesng) October 5, 2022
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999