U-turn: Akwa Ibom APC says it is now ready for November council elections

By Effiong WILLIAM 

 

Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has made a U-turn on its earlier decision not to participate in the local government election in Akwa Ibom State which is scheduled for November 11.

This development is contained in a press statement issued on Sunday night by the party’s spokesman, Edet Bassey. 

The party said, “APC has not boycotted nor withdrawn from the election. The party has simply approached the court for guidance on the vexed issues of non-compliance with practice and procedure for the conduct of Local Government election and ofcourse the status, integrity and probity of the current Leadership of AKISIEC to conduct a transparent, free and fair election.

“The Party is ready and willing to participate in the election upon determination of the matter by the court.

“We, therefore, call on our members who aspire to contest the Local Government election to remain calm and continue their consultations”. 

The party insisted that the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission, headed by Gloria Ukpong, couldn’t be trusted to conduct a free, fair and credible election and that it was going to court to challenge her headship of the commission.

“APC has very strong reservations about the status, character, integrity, and probity of the leadership of AKISIEC as currently constituted to conduct a free, fair, credible and democratically acceptable local government election.

“Our reservations are predicated on antecedents of the Chief Electoral Commissioner who is alleged to have an unenviable reputation of being a willing accomplice in the perpetration of electoral fraud in two previous local government elections in the state.

“APC has absolutely no trust and confidence in the impartiality of a Chief Electoral Commissioner who had delivered twice (2007 and 2012) to the satisfaction of the PDP and was, contrary to the law, retained to do same in 2017,” the party said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the PDP says it is “completely taken aback” by what it has described as “barefaced, shameless and most unprofessional attempt at retraction of a previously clearly stated and unambiguous position”, on the side of the APC. 

Spokesman for the PDP, Ini Ememobong, in a statement made available to propellerng.com on Monday afternoon,  congratulated the APC for “heeding the advice contained in our previous reply and accepting to partake in the elections”. 

Akwa Ibom State is controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The 31 local government councils in the state have been run for about two years now by transition committee chairmen appointed by Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Below is the full text of the APC statement.

 

APC PRESS RELEASE

This is a clarification to the APC Press Release of Thursday, July 12th 2017 on the proposed Local Government election.

As a political Party with respect for the rule of law, we are desirous to return our state and country to the path of economic growth, honour and moral rectitude. Election is a process that is expected to be well conducted; otherwise failure in one aspect has manifold and disastrous consequences on others. APC is concerned with impropriety that attended the call-up and Notice for Election issued by Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC). APC has reviewed extant laws governing conduct of Local Government election and faulted AKISIEC for non-compliance with practice and procedure for the conduct of Local Government election. As the leading opposition party in the state with wide spread support and membership, we have a responsibility to correct the anomalies in our electoral process and ensure that elections are conducted transparently and fairly in the interest of serious opposition political parties and the people of Akwa Ibom state.

Furthermore, APC has very strong reservations about the status, character, integrity and probity of the leadership of AKISIEC as currently constituted to conduct a free, fair, credible and democratically acceptable Local Government election. Our reservations are predicated on antecedents of the Chief Electoral Commissioner who is alleged to have an unenviable reputation of being a willing accomplice in the perpetration of electoral fraud in two previous Local Government elections in the state. APC has absolutely no trust and confidence in the impartiality of a Chief Electoral Commissioner who had delivered twice (2007 and 2012) to the satisfaction of the PDP and was, contrary to the law, retained to do same in 2017.

APC has chosen to approach the court with its concerns and to challenge the legality in the call-up to 2017 Local Government election by AKISIEC and the tenure of the Chief Electoral Commissioner who was appointed about 10 years ago. APC has not boycotted nor withdrawn from the election. The party has simply approached the court for guidance on the vexed issues of non-compliance with practice and procedure for the conduct of Local Government election and ofcourse the status, integrity and probity of the current Leadership of AKISIEC to conduct a transparent, free and fair election. The Party is ready and willing to participate in the election upon determination of the matter by the court.

We therefore call on our members who aspire to contest the Local Government election to remain calm and continue their consultations.

Sign:
Edet Eyo Bassey(Esq.)
Ag. State Publicity Secretary
Dated: 16th July 2017

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