The All Progressives Congress (APC), in Akwa Ibom State, has reacted to its loss at the governorship election petition tribunal, appealing to its members and supporters “not to give up hope on the party”.
The three-member tribunal on Thursday in Uyo declared that the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the APC, Nsima Ekere, against Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked merit, and accordingly upheld the election of the latter as the Akwa Ibom governor.
“I implore our teeming supporters not to give up hope on the party but to remain faithful and steadfast trusting that we shall deploy every available judicial process to attain our quest to entrench good governance in our beloved State of Akwa Ibom,” the state chairman of APC, Ini Okopido, said in a statement issued shortly after the tribunal delivered its verdict.
Mr Okopido said the APC is “a law-abiding political party with confidence and trust in the judiciary”, and has, therefore, “taken the ruling with equanimity”.
The chairman said the party has asked its lawyers to evaluate the judgment and advise it.
The PDP, which is the ruling party in the state, celebrated the tribunal judgment as “divine”.
“Today, the tribunal of men properly constituted by the laws of our land has confirmed the divinely orchestrated, politically engineered and electorally delivered mandate of Deacon Udom Emmanuel as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State,” the PDP chairman in Akwa Ibom, Paul Ekpo, told journalists at a press briefing held on Thursday over the judgment.
“This judgment is in total agreement with the contemporary political reality existent in our state. It is not a judgment that is postulating on what ought to be, but a clear admission of what was and what is,” said Mr Ekpo at the PDP state secretariat.
The PDP chairman was surrounded by the party spokesperson in the state, Ini Ememobong, and other executive members of the party.
“We were told that we could not and will not win the elections, but because no man can conclude a matter that God has not concluded, the elections went our way.
“They said that they will upturn our victory at the tribunal and we questioned who is he that says a thing and it comes to pass when the Lord has not commanded?”
Mr Ekpo congratulated the governor, Mr Emmanuel, and all the PDP candidates who have won their cases at the election tribunals.
He thanked the people of the state for their support for the party.
“Let me reiterate as I have done at several quarters and times, that the God who has brought us this far, is capable and will certainly take us to our expected end,” he said.