The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Akwa Ibom State chapter, said on Friday the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, withdrew from Essien Udim senatorial district rerun election for fear of possible defeat.
Akpabio had written to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, about his decision to withdraw from the rerun election.
The minister said he would not abandon a critical national assignment in pursuit of a rerun election.
But PDP in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary in the state, Barr. Ini Ememobong, described the minister’s withdrawal from the rerun election as a clear face-saving effort.
The PDP questioned why Akpabio should seek a replacement for the rerun elections, saying it’s either he faced the election or concede a defeat.
The party said: “Some days ago, our party, like other members of the reading public, saw a letter infixed in the headed paper of Senator Godswill Akpabio attempting to convey the purported withdrawal of the Senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress candidate in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.
“Our response to that joke taken too far is that the rerun is a court-ordered election to complete an earlier started electoral exercise, which by the judgement of the court has been declared inchoate. The only way the APC can substitute a candidate is if the incumbent candidate dies a physical death, not a political death as that currently witnessed.
“Senator Akpabio was a party before the court and the order of the court is that he should go back for a rerun in Essien Udim- that’s an order of the court and as a lawyer, he should obey that order and submit himself for confirmatory defeat.
“The purported withdrawal of the Senatorial candidate is a clear face-saving attempt by Chief Akpabio, in a bid to avoid a recurring defeat by Senator Chris Ekpenyong, whom he had earlier boasted was not a match for him. But like it’s common knowledge, pride goes before a fall. Senator Ekpenyong Defeated Chief Akpabio in 8 local government areas with a large margin of more than 38,000 votes-which is Akpabio’s present nightmare.
“On the funny claim that he has a patriotic task to perform at the Federal Executive Council as minister, which is why he wants to withdraw from the race, the question is, when did he realize this duty which he claims he owes the Niger Delta? Why did he not withdraw before the Appeal court judgment? If the Court of Appeal had granted the reliefs he sought for, would he have still withdrawn?
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