Godswill Akpabio, the Niger Delta Affairs minister, has on Friday, January 24, 2020, dissociated himself from any happenings at the rerun election in Essien Udim local government area.
Akpabio said his decision and that of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, to stay away from the supplementary election was sacrosanct, and therefore should not be linked to the exercise in any way.
The minister was responding to insinuations in the social media linking him to pockets of violence and irregularities at the rerun in his area.
A statement issued to journalists by his chief press secretary, Anietie Ekong, said, “The news flying about linking Senator Godswill Akpabio to any rerun election in Essien Udim Local Government Area is fake.
“It is well known that because of higher national responsibilities as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio had withdrawn his candidature from the said election. He was replaced by the APC with Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo.
“The other candidates who were scheduled for the elections, Nse Ntuen and Emmanuel Akpan have written to announce their withdrawal from the elections.
“And just yesterday, the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ini Okopido at a widely publicized press conference announced that the APC will not participate in the rerun elections.
“So on what basis would any sane human being link Akpabio to whatever is happening in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
“As I write Senator Akpabio is not even in Essien Udim. He’s in Uyo. He has no interest whatsoever in what is going on there and had advised his supporters to heed the call of the State APC and boycott the elections”, he said.
Ekong in the statement said reliable information indicates that there is a plot by the PDP to use it’s thugs to cause mayhem and link it to Akpabio, who is not even at Essien Udim.
“We have however gathered that PDP some sponsored thugs were planning to carry out a sinister plot during the rerun elections and link it to Akpabio. Security agencies should be on the watch out for miscreants and sponsored thugs, apprehend them and visit the full weight of the law on them.
“We urge the general public to ignore infantile propaganda linking Senator Akpabio to anything that is going on in Essien Udim LGA in the name of rerun elections,” he maintained.