2023 polls: Major setback for Akpabion as his close ally decamps to PDP, loses endorsement of leaders of his constituency
- More intrigues and suspense has begun to unfold with less than three weeks to the general election
- In Akwa Ibom, the battle for one of the legislative seats has reached a fever pitch with ex-governor Godswill Akpabio caught in between a thin wire
- Reports have that the leaders in his constituency have passed a vote of no confidence on him and switched camp to his counterpart Emmanuel Enoidem
The former governor of Akwa Ibom and chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Godswill Akpabio has suffered a major hit in his senatorial bid ahead of the 2023 elections.
According to a report by Punch newspaper, his close ally and former minister of petroleum, Don Etiebet has decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to support the candidacy of Emmanuel Enoidem.
Legit.ng gathered that leaders of the Abak-5 constituency have also turned their back on the former governor to support the candidacy of Enoidem ahead of the legislative elections.
Further reports revealed that there have been a lot of disparities over the candidacy of Akpabio with Etiebet reaching out to him to relinquish his ambition for the sake of accommodating Abak-5 communities who are yet to produce a senator since 1963.
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It was gathered that the decision to pull out from Akpabio’s camp was taken after an inter-party meeting held at the Ewet Housing Estate residence of the former Minister of Petroleum.
The meeting which was a coalition of the APC, PDP, NNPP, YPP, LP and others from Abak, Etim Ekpo, Ika, Ukanufun and OrukAnam Local Government Areas revolved among other things, that the “2023 senatorial seat for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District must go to Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency which has not produced a Senator since 1963.”
Godswill Akpabio reacts
In reaction to this development, the media and publicity director of Godswill Akpabio’s campaign, Joe Iniudo revealed that there were no such endorsements on the table.
He stated that it was a plot by some of the mischief-makers who wanted to create news out of nothing.
“I have not been able to make findings to know who and who are members of the coalition that you are talking about.
“I think that coalition is close to being illusionary because the people that are expected to be stakeholders in Abak-5, I am not sure participated in that exercise.
“I have had cause to speak to a former member of the House of Representatives and he said he was not there.”
He also noted that he has spoken with a former local government chairman and other political stakeholders who confirmed that there was not a part of the meeting.
2023: Supreme Court makes final decision on Akpabio’s APC senatorial candidacy
In another development, the Supreme Court has upheld that Godswill Obot Akpabio is the APC’s candidate for Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District come to the 2023 polls.
Akpabio got this favourable verdict during a sitting on Friday, January 20, after a long battle to secure this ticket.
Before the ruling, the former governor had been challenged in court by his key rival, Udom Ekpoudom.