Akwa Ibom re-run guber polls: PDP, APC exude confidence
While the PDP are saying that, should the Supreme Court upholds the decision of the Appellant Court, they would reclaim their victory at the polls, the APC says that it would be their turn to sweep the state as they were robbed during the April 11 governorship election.
Governor Udom Emmanuel who addressed the Akwa Ibom people, and the chieftains of PDP that spoke with journalists at the weekend, expressed optimism that they would retain power in the state despite the ruling of the Appeal Court that nullified the election of the Governor.
The Governor on arrival at the airport and during the Annual Christmas Carol festival of the state, stressed that the mandate given to him by the people of the state would be reclaimed, expressing confidence though that the Supreme Court would reverse the judgment of the lower courts.
“I have come back home to talk to my people first before heading to the Supreme Court and to tell them to be rest assured that the mandate they gave me will not be taken away by any court because the people’s will always prevail.
“I want them to go and just prepare their voting cards again in the case of another election to reconfirm the mandate they had earlier given me”, he said.
The PDP chieftains who spoke were full of confidence that, even if the Supreme Court would uphold the judgment of the lower court, Governor Udom Emmanuel would remain the candidate to beat in the election because of the quality and sustainability of the programmes he has so far initiated in the first six months in office.
The Director General of the State PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation, Chief Idongesit Nkanga, said the judgment was one of the challenges of democracy but that the party would get over the present setback, adding that, Akwa Ibom people already know who would be better for them.
“I want to say that the court ruling is one of the things that we must have for democracy to survive but I have confidence that the Supreme Court will look at the issues from a higher and experienced perspective.
“Akwa Ibom people are also wise and know what is good for them. They have seen the policies and the programmes of Udom Emmanuel and his drive in making the state economically independent and sustainable and this is not lost on them. Even if there will be election I am sure they will still vote for the PDP.”
On his part, the member representing Ibiono Ibom state constituency in the State House of Assembly, Mr. Imeh Okon, said the PDP would win any rerun for the governorship election, as the state remained predominantly a PDP state. “If it becomes necessary that we go for a rerun, I want to assure you that the PDP will still win because Akwa Ibom state is predominantly a PDP state.” Okon said.
In his reaction, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Ita Awak, advised the ruling PDP not to border going to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling, saying that, the evidence tendered at the Appeal Court was overwhelming.
“The judgment has vindicated the cry of the APC that there was no election in the state during the last general elections because 400,000 registered voters cannot produce one million votes, this has never happened in a democracy before.” He said.
On his part, The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang described the ruling as justice done to Akwa Ibom people and Nigeria.
According to him, the right of Akwa Ibom people to elect their leaders has been restored to them and appealed to APC faithful and other indigenes of the state to celebrate the Appeal Court victory with peace. He charged the supporters of APC not to the take laws into their hands in the course of celebrating the victory, calling on the PDP in the state to joyfully join the APC.
He said that there was need for the people of the state to know that the APC is the ruling party and advised that it would be wrong for them to be in the opposition; instead they should vote for the APC so as to belong to the mainstream of the country’s polity.
“This is justice done to Akwa Ibom people and Nigeria which respects the rights of the people to vote that was trampled upon, APC supporters in the state should celebrate the victory with decorum, without violence as the judgment has vindicated the cry of the party”, he said.
Also, an APC chieftain and the party’s senatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District in the last election, Chief Inibehe Okori congratulated APC over the Appeal Court victory saying liberation has come to the state.
In a statement issued shortly after the court’s verdict, Okori lauded Mr. Umana Umana for his perseverance and determination to champion the battle to the end for the good of the people. Chief Okori called on his constituents to immediately commence a door-to-door campaign and mass mobilization for the APC to win the anticipated rerun, describing the PDP as dead and buried in Akwa Ibom state.
It would be recalled that, supporters of the APC took over major streets in Uyo when the Appeal Court announced the total cancellation of the April 11th governorship election results. Incidentally, the decision of the appellate court to nullify the election of Governor Udom Emmanuel came four days after the election of the number three man in the state government, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly Mr. Aniekan Uko who represented the people of Ibesikpo/ Asutan state constituency was also nullified by the Appeal Court.
The procession made up of mostly ‘keke’ riding youths danced along the major streets of the state capital, Uyo over the triumph of the APC Governorship candidate, Mr. Umana Okon Umana in the Court with the popular Ibom plaza witnessing a mammoth crowd as APC members took over available space and the adjourning streets.