APC yet to begin campaign in A/Ibom as PDP holds campaign rallies in LGAs
Ahead of the general election beginning next month, the All Progressives Congress (APC), which is a minority party in Akwa Ibom State, has yet to commence its campaign.
The APC has been mired in a legal tussle over who the authentic flag bearer of the party is following internal wrangling which according to observers created factions with members pledging loyalty to different stakeholders.
In November last year, a federal high court in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, nullified the party’s primaries and barred the governorship candidate, Akan Udofia, a businessman from presenting himself as the candidate of the party while ordering that another primary election be conducted within seven days.
In the Federal High Court judgment delivered by Agatha Okeke, it held that Udofia was unlawfully nominated by the APC and subsequently nullified his emergence as the party’s flag bearer.
Following the legal issue, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declined to list Udofia as the party’s governorship candidate for the Akwa Ibom governorship race.
Not satisfied with the ruling, Udofia who was before the party’s primaries, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was said to have participated in PDP’s governorship primaries approached a court of appeal in Abuja appealing the judgment of the Uyo federal high court.
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He was dragged before the Federal High Court in Uyo by Ita Enang, former aide to President Muhammadu Buhari who claimed that he should have been the party’s governorship candidate.
The court of appeal has not yet delivered judgment on the case, which observers say might have been responsible for the party’s lack of enthusiasm in launching its governorship campaign.
The Appeal court has not yet fixed a date for judgment even as PDP has continued tour of local government areas of Akwa Ibom for its governorship campaigns in which the party also uses the opportunity to present all its candidates for the general elections.
The inability of APC to have a governorship candidate has also prevented the party from having a united front in promoting the party’s candidates during campaign rallies as done by the PDP, according to observers.
So far, it has visited Etinan, Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi, Ika and Udung Uko local government areas with the party’s governorship candidate, Umo Eno presenting a blueprint for the development of the state.
Speaking at the campaign rally in Mbo Local Government Area, Eno promised to remodel the different tourism site if elected as governor, saying he would turn the area into a tourism haven.
He also said that arrangements would be made with the concessionaire to revamp the Ebuhu Fishing Terminal in the area despite being a Federal Government project.
“On security, we have drawn up plans to partner with security agencies to make sure that sea piracy is curbed, by the time we come into office, we are going to have a very robust security plan so that you can do your fishing and other businesses unhindered,” he said.