The renewed battle for the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Seat at the National Assembly is already assuming an interesting dimension with the Minister of Niger Delta and candidate of the APC in the 2019 Senatorial election Chief Godswill Akpabio stepping out early to “gather weapons” for the contest which is billed to take place in less than 90 days from today.
Impeccable intelligence reaching our Political desk from sources within Aso Rock reveals that Chief Akpabio has already reeled out conditions which must the Presidency must use their fiat to meet if he must contest the elections.
Our source hinted that top on the list of the conditions placed before the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari who allegedly “gifted” Akpabio the ministerial slot, is that the Presidency must immediately give express order for the redeployment of the Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC Mr Mike Igini from Akwa ibom State to somewhere else.
In addition to the redeployment of Mr Igini, the Niger Delta Minister is also asking for the immediate redeployment of the present Director of Department of State Services, DSS as well as the current Commissioner for Police in Akwa Ibom State.
Our source within the Aso Rock further disclosed that Chief Akpabio will also be banking on the powers and manipulative influences of Mr Kyari to direct the route which the forthcoming rerun will take so as ensure he emerges victorious in the election.
It was further gathered that should the move to transfer the Akwa Ibom State INEC REC, Mr Igini fail, the fall back plan Mr Akpabio is proposing is for the REC to be buffeted with RECs who are most likely to be sympathetic to the cause of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
“That rerun election in Akwa Ibom which we gathered, is taking place in just Akpabio’s Local Government will be a combination of a thing of ego and a determinant of Akpabio’s political future. If he fails, he will fall flat. In that election, he will be trying to prove that he is widely loved as he claims and then if he resigns to contest, that would be the only option left. So that explains why he is trying to get all the powerful support he can get from here” our Aso Rock source hinted.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal Sitting in Calabar last week called for a rerun in Essien Udim Local Government Area – the hometown of Chief Akpabio while upholding the outcome of the election in the other 9 local government won by Senator Chris Ekpenyong.
Akpabio will be going to the rerun with a deficit of 38,056 votes which he needs to upturn Senator Ekpenyong’s victory.
Akwa Ibom INEC Public Affairs Officer Don Etukudo in a press release had said the judgement by the court of Appeal had affirmed INEC’s position that widespread violence and irregularities had marred the elections in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
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