. Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel, casting his vote during Saturday’s local government election in the state
* There was no election across Akwa Ibom – APC
* The APC people are bad losers – PDP spokesman
By Itoro BASSEY
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won the chairmanship seats of the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom State in yesterday’s local council polls held across the state.
The party also won all the councillorship seats in the 329 wards of the state.
Aniedi Ikoiwak, Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKSIEC) announced this in a press statement he issued on Sunday, while declaring result of the polls.
According to him, 12 political parties participated in the elections, including the PDP and the All Progressive Congress (APC)
“The local government elections conducted on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017, was done in line with relevant laws.
“That the said election was contested by twelve (12) political parties and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the 31 chairmanship and 329 councillorship seats respectively.
“This statement confirms the announcement/declarations made by the authorised Returning Officers in various Wards and local government areas.
“Details of scores as submitted by our field officers will be made available by the field Operations/Logistics Department of the Commission”, he said.
The commissioner has further invited the winners to its headquarters in Uyo on Monday for the collection of certificate of returns.
The elections, according to most of the residents interviewed, were generally peaceful with a large turnout of voters recorded at most polling units across the state.
AKISIEC had cleared a total of 900 candidates to contest the elections.
Some observers also said the turnout for the election was generally impressive while electoral materials arrived late at some centres, although the exercise went on smoothly without much hitches.
Governor Udom Emmanuel, and his wife, Martha, cast their votes at his hometown of Awa Ward 1 in ONNA Local Government Area amidst cheers from the people.
Speaking to correspondents on the exercise, the governor commended voters and AKISIEC for the peaceful and successful conduct of the election.
Also speaking on the election at his home town of Itreto Ward 1, Health Centre, in Nsit Ubium local government area, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, who said that the turnout of electorate in his area was impressive, commended voters for complying with all electoral laws during the voting process in Nsit Ubium.
“When they needed us during the recession, we were there for them. This is why they have supported us. This is why they have been responsive. The people have been our own “federal might”. When the people are with you, no ‘federal might’ can prevail”.
“By this election, we have pre-empted what will be the outcome of the constitutional amendment as it concerns the structure of the local government.
“This election is also going to get government to be more responsive to the needs of the people. This is because, unlike an appointee, an elected person understands that he holds the mandate of the people and he is the custodian of the trust of the people and will be properly guided”, he said.
Meanwhile, the APC, had, before AKISIEC’s announcement, rejected the results of the election.
“The party wishes to inform the security agencies, government of Akwa Ibom State, the federal government of Nigeria, and the g
eneral public that we reject in entirety any concocted result that AKISIEC may wish to announce to the general public as the final result of the purported local government election,” the APC said in a statement issued on Saturday night.
The statement was signed by the State Chairman of APC, Amadu Attai, the State Secretary of the party, Effiong Etok, and the party’s Caucus Chairman in the state, Don Etiebet.
The party had insisted that there was no election across the state.
But the PDP spokesman in the state, Ini Ememobong, however, reacted to the development, describing the APC as bad losers.
Mr. Ememobong, who is from Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, said the state secretary of APC, Mr. Etok, made a violent attempt to hijack voting materials and, thereby, allegedly disrupted the election at Unit 7, Ward 4 in the area.
“So, what do you make out of it when the state secretary of APC, who is one of the signatories in the rejection, was an actor in this case?” the PDP spokesperson said.
“The rejection (of the election by the APC) is one of the signs of the massive failure that was only waiting for them.
“A party who went to court three times seeking to stop the election, a party who tried to stop AKISIEC from distributing the election materials, a party who rather than preparing for an election, mobilised for violence, cannot accept the results from the people.
“Look at it, the people caught with arms in Ikot Ekpene in a vehicle known by everyone to belong to Chief Sunny Ibanga, were they working for PDP? The guns caught with them, was that their permanent voter’s cards?
“Those who came with Effiong Etuk to Unit 7, Ward 4 in Ibiono Ibom with acids, with machetes, with guns, were those their PVCs? And the scattered election materials everywhere?
“The only result the APC would accept is the result of violence. It’s common sense that you cannot accept the result that you did not prepare for.
“APC didn’t prepare for election; until two weeks to the election, they were still in the law court,” Mr. Ememobong said.