Why we can’t announce results of Akpabio’s election – INEC

Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State has said that it cannot declare the results for the Akwa Ibom North-West District because of insecurity in the area.

Godswill Akpabio, the senator representing the district, contested for a second term. His main challenger is Chris Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Apart from Akwa Ibom North-West, INEC has declared PDP the winner in the other two senatorial districts in the state.

There has been suspense and tension over the election result, with both APC and the PDP accusing each other of rigging.

Messrs Akpabio and Ekpenyong have claimed victory, even when INEC is yet to announce the election result.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, said on Monday in Uyo, “The results are ready, but INEC can’t declare it in Uyo. The law says the election results must be declared at the senatorial district. The report we are getting about the security situation in Ikot Ekpene is that it is not okay for INEC to go there and announce results.”

Mr Igini was speaking to journalists at the State Collation Centre, Uyo, after the completion of the declaration of results of the presidential election in Akwa Ibom.

Mr Akpabio’s local government area, Essien Udim, was the last of the local government areas in the state to declare results of the presidential election.

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Mr Igini said the returning officer for Essien Udim, William Olusunde, a lecturer at the University of Uyo, had to run for his life during the elections.

“The electoral officer too (in Essien Udim) has been going through a lot, I can confirm to you. He has not slept for days. Even myself, I have not slept.

“I have records of presiding officers who were speaking to me in low tones because of where they were and what was going on. God gave the returning officer wisdom, and today he is alive,” Mr Igini said.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari had a slight win against the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Mr Akpabio’s local government area, according to the result released by the INEC.

Mr Buhari scored 7,766 votes in the area, while Mr Abubakar had 5,980 votes.

The total valid votes cast in the presidential election in the area, INEC said, was 13,901.

The returning officer, Mr Olusunde, said after the election in the area they checked through the card readers and were able to discover that the number of votes was more than the accredited voters at some polling units. “Because of that we had to cancel some votes in some units,” he said.

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