Former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has clinched the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district.
Akpabio, who stepped down for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during the just concluded presidential primary of the party, emerged winner with 478 votes.
Out of the 540 delegates, 512 were accredited, of which Sir Joseph Akpan had one vote, DIG Ekpo Udom who initially won the first primary had three votes, while 11 votes were voided.
Speaking on Thursday night at the Godswill Akpabio Empowerment Centre in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, where the re-run primary held, Akpabio thanked the people for finding him worthy.
“I thank the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district for finding me worthy to be given another opportunity to represent you in the Nigerian 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 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 primary as the reason for the re-run.
“There was some infractions in the primaries held about a week 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 primary took place on May 28th and all of you were there. Today, our Father has joined the race. I, Obong Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo, 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 With that, I have withdrawn my aspiration to the Senatorial seat.”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 to 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 (INEC).