- Declares APC will reclaim stolen mandate in Akwa Ibom
President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday declared his plot to coercively restore Senator Godswill Akpabio as an elected senators in Akwa Ibom State against the will of the people.
The president at a town hall meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, declared that the APC is committed to reclaiming the mandate that was stolen from the party during the presidential and national assembly elections. President Buhari threatened that APC mandate was stolen in Akwa Ibom State.
The President, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, protested the results of the elections in Akwa Ibom State, accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of robbing the party of its votes in the state.
“What happened on the 23rd of February was robbery. The votes of the people were stolen, but we are not deterred. We have come to affirm that no robber will go unpunished, but when an electoral umpire is corrupt and collude with the opposition, we have the witnesses and we have lawyers to deal with that,” he said.
PDP stakeholders in Akwa Ibom State, however, warned that the APC and the President should not use the federal might to the advantage of the ruling party to intimidate and coerce the resident electoral officer in the state, which they failed to achieve in the presidential and national assembly elections, to subvert the will of the people. They maintained that Akwa Ibom is a PDP state and not the private property of an individual.
Senator Akpabio had overtime requested that the REC in Akwa Ibom State, Barrister Mike Igini, be removed after the REC was known to have resisted all lobby to manipulate the elections in the state for the APC. Akpabio and APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, thereafter, embarked on blackmail campaign that the REC was cooperating with the PDP.
Mike Igini had personally declared that APC leaders in Akwa Ibom State are rooting for his removal because he refused to accept allowing any participant to rig the elections in the state.
The fresh threat by President Buhari through Vice President Osinbajo questions the President’s integrity and the pastoral righteousness of the Vice President who professes to be a Pastor of the renowned Redeemed Church, who is expected to know the boundary between truth and falsehood, PDP leaders in Akwa Ibom State had noted. They warned that the President must allow the will of the people to prevail.
Akpabio was defeated by former Deputy Governor Chris Ekpeyong of the PDP in the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District elections. He noted that his victory showed that Godswill Akpabio has been rejected by the people of the district because of his inability to function at the senate, and also the fact that Akwa Ibom is a state fully rooted in the PDP.
Meanwhile, the federal might has been used to get the court to restrain INEC from issuing Certificate of Return to Ekpeyong. The court ruling came at a time the Elections Tribunal is the right place to handle all election cases across the country.