The immediate past Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has emerged the winner of the Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial primary under the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform.
The first primary conducted on May 28, 2022, for the senatorial district was cancelled following security infractions during the primary.
Before the rerun election, Akpabio was a presidential aspirant under the ruling party but stepped down for former Lagos state Governor, Bola Tinubu, who won the party’s presidential ticket.
But Akpabio won the rerun poll having polled 478 votes, while Sir Joseph Akpan had only one vote, and the former Deputy Inspector general of Police who initially won the first primary had three votes.
Out of the 540 delegates for the rerun primary, 512 were accreditated to vote while eleven votes were voided.
Speaking on Thursday night at the Godswill Akpabio Empowerment Centre in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, shortly after he was declared the winner, Akpabio thanked the delegates for their support and for finding him worthy to fly the flag of the party in the 2023 senatorial election
“I thank the Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district for finding me worthy to be given another opportunity to contest for a senatorial seat in the Senate. I recall when you gave me the first mandate in 2015 to 2019, I recall that there is no senator ever that did the kind of empowerment I did for you.
“I know a lot of projects were done across the ten local government areas, from markets to water projects, to electrification project, to the building of classroom blocks,” he stated.
Speaking earlier, the State APC Chairman, Mr Stephen Ntukekpo, said he was directed by the party at the national level to carry out the re-run, and cited infractions in the first primaries as the reason for the re-run.
“There were some infractions in the primaries held about some weeks ago and I was directed by the National Working Committee to carry out a re-run.
“We have about five aspirants in this exercise. They were all informed and are fully aware. The aspirants are Sir Joseph Akpan, DIG Ekpo Udom, Obong Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo, and Senator Godswill Akpabio,” he said.
Though the other aspirants were not available during the exercise, one of them, Obong Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo announced that he was stepping down for Akpabio.
He said, “The first primaries took place on May 28th and all of you were there. Today, our father has joined the race. I, Obong Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo, a former member of the House of Representatives, a son of this senatorial district, I plead with all my delegates to identify with our father, and I return all the delegates to vote for him.
“I don’t think we should do anything to undermine the person God has given to us as a leader. The person is Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio. I call all my delegates once again to support him. With that, I have withdrawn my aspiration to the senatorial seat.”
The five-man committee that monitor the primaries was led by the Chairman, Sir Sylvester Okonkwo, Secretary, Alhaji Salisu Isa, and Mrs Bunmi Imole, who was the returning officer, among others, as well as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission.